International Forum for NeoVedantins
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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 Hinduism?
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
The Story of Sri Ramakrishna: Part 3
A Long Series
Strange Experiences of Chandradevi
Here at Kamarpukur, Chandradevi also had strange experiences, which are worthy of recounting.
1) On return of her husband, Khudiram, she told him about two peculiar events. She had a strange vision in which she saw a luminous being lying on her bed. At first she thought it was her husband, but she soon realized that no human being could be luminous like that. 'Even after waking up, the thought persisted in her mind that the luminous being was still in her bed! She could not make up her mind whether it was a dream, or in reality some form of God had revealed Himself to her.
2) On another occasion, Chandradevi had the following experience: She was talking to her friend, Dhani, in front of the temple of Jugis, when she suddenly saw a Divine Light, coming from the Holy image of Lord Shiva filling the path on its way, and rushing towards her in waves. 'Swiftly, before she could mention it to her friend, the effulgence engulfed her whole being and the body'. Stunned with wonder and fear, Chandradevi fell unconscious. Dhani thought that her friend must have had epileptic fit. But since then Chandradevi had a peculiar feeling as if she was pregnant! She told the matter to Dhani and one more friend, who brushed off the matter in ridicule. She told her husband that she still had the feeling that she was carrying.
And indeed in due course of time, on 18 February 1836, Chandradevi gave birth to a boy, named Gadadhar, Sri Ramakrishna; our Man of God, the child of Kali.
There are many such unique experiences and visions of the parents of great souls who have incarnated as God Men on this earth. Sri Krishna, Jesus Christ, Sri Rama, Lord Buddha, Chaitannya Mahaprabhu, Vallabhacharya, Shankaracharya, and many more examples can be cited. Vasudeva and Devaki both knew the divine nature of their son, Sri Krishna, as incarnation of Lord Vishnu. His escape from the prison of Kamsa to Gokul is full of mind-boggling tales. Rama was born as the blessing of a sage and after Mother Kaushalya partook of fruit offered by Yajna Devata. Jesus was born to Virgin Mary, and so on.
These peculiar episodes are true, although they may not fit in our pattern of reason and rationality, science in short. However, I feel, their study itself should form one branch of science! For, methodical study of a body of observed facts is what science is all about. These events are authentic and documented. If we do not have explanations for these phenomena, does it mean they are non-events, that they had never occurred? We should study these facts, categorize them and then theorize upon them to form a working hypothesis. Then in due course of time, as more and more facts come to light from various sources, both in time and place, we can put them as scientific theory for experimentation and verification of the results.
Childhood of Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna, childhood name Gadadhar, was born on 18 February 1836 in the village of Kamarpukur in West Bengal. He was born as a full term normal child and his developmental milestones were normal. His father and mother were both physically and mentally sound. There was no history of any major illness during his childhood. He was very courageous, fearless, and guileless right from early childhood. Every one, including all the village women folk, loved him and was keen to play and associate with him.
While worshipping his family deity, meditating, or listening to devotional music and songs, he used to go into intense ecstatic moods. During this period various spiritual visions came to him from time to time. His health, however, was never affected. He continued to be normal in his behaviour, and was cheerful, alert, obedient, active and efficient. Gradually he became accustomed to such states and could control these ecstatic states at will. Gadadhar was intelligent, but had aversion for book learning -particularly mathematics. Otherwise he was efficient in learning languages, music and singing. He showed normal reactions to deaths in the family, including when he lost his father in early childhood.
Childhood Experiences of Samadhi
When he was six or seven years of age, one day while passing through a paddy field, Sri Ramakrishna was overwhelmed by a beautiful sight of uniform formation of white cranes seen against the dark monsoon clouds in the sky. The result was dramatic one, he lost his outer consciousness for sometime and was carried home in that condition. On regaining the consciousness he was perfectly normal and there was no evidence of post-epileptic headache, deep sleep, or state of confusion. Although the parents were worried about the episode, which they thought to be epilepsy, Sri Ramakrishna himself maintained that nothing wrong had happened to him. He was shown to a doctor and treated with some medicines.
At about eighth year of his life, one day on his way to a famous temple of Visalakshi goddess at Anur, he suddenly lost his outer consciousness. On this occasion also, Gadadhar insisted that he was in that condition only because his mind had become merged with the Goddess, as he was contemplating on her.
At another time, once during nighttime, while performing the role of Shiva in a play in front of local villagers, Gadadhar went in a state of trance and became speechless; profuse tears flowed from his eyes. He was in a state of samadhi and the onlookers were speechless to see the beauty and divinity of his countenance, as if he was one with God Shiva. The play was ended and he was carried home in that state.
Other peculiarities of his childhood days were his expertise in making clay idols of gods and goddesses, his playfulness in woods, acting various roles of child Krishna, and his serving sadhus on their way to Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra (pilgrimage), etc.
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