International Forum for NeoVedantins

The Story of Sri Ramakrishna:  Part 4
A Long Series


At the threshold of his adulthood, Gadadhar showed no signs or symptoms of any physical or mental illness. On the contrary, he had very gifted memory and he could remember musical compositions, plays, and songs by listening to them just once. He had a very sweet voice. He could imitate voices of various persons, both male and female. He had wonderful gift of acting as well. He could act part of a woman without people even recognizing him in such a role. Everybody had a great joy and fun in his company.

His judgment was sound. He gradually developed a strong conviction that life was meant for higher purpose, viz. realization of God, and not for earning money or craving for materialistic pleasures and thus wasting the precious years of life. Qualities of renunciation, discrimination, and contemplation were natural to him. His introspective nature and intense desire to practice for the realization Supreme Truth were beyond comparison in the realm of spiritual history.

Early Adult Life

In the year 1852, Gadadhar (henceforth - Sri Ramakrishna) went to Calcutta with his elder brother. As a part of his job, he undertook worship of Mother Kali at Dakshineswar Temple built by Rani Rasmani. For four years he undertook intense sadhana for the realization of God in the form of Mother. Subsequently for next eight years he was fully engrossed in his sadhana to realize God in various other ways. Besides Tantric sadhana, he undertook sadhana of vatsalya bhava (attitude of mother towards God), madhur bhava (attitude of beloved), and Vedanta during this period. During all these phases of life his common sense was intact; he was quick to achieve his goal with intensity unheard of, and after each phase there was no evidence of any permanent mental or bodily changes remaining in his person. On the contrary he appeared more and more learned, wise, and respectful. During this period Sri Ramakrishna went to his native village and was married to Saradamani [1859] who was just six years of age at that time.
Period of Sadhana

Sri Ramakrishna was endowed with a most wonderful retentive memory and remembered everything just by listening once. Moreover, he had great love for truth and sincerity of purpose that would not stop without putting into the practice the idea or the principle once he thought to be true. His self-control was as normal a function as that of breathing. Tears used to flow from his eyes while singing glory of God, and at the time of worship he used to get so completely absorbed in it that he was totally unaware of the surrounding activities. He actually saw the letters of sacred Mantras in bright colours in his body as well as the Serpent Power (Kundalini) rising from the spinal cord to the head. The continuous flow of his mind towards God had its effect on the body, which gave rise to various symptoms. He lost sleep, his appetite was reduced, and his chest used to become red with increased blood flow. His mind was seized with apprehension and anxiety. He also used to suffer from tremors and restlessness. To many, his soaring erratic flights of God intoxication seemed the derangement of brain or symptoms of 'possessions'.

During this period he was also unmindful of his body, and his hair grew long and got matted together. He longed for the vision of Mother so intensely that he used to cry loudly as if separated from his real mother. He used to lose outer consciousness very often. He felt as if his heart was wrung like a wet towel; he used to get intense pain and suffered a lot.

Late Adult Life

After completion of Vedanta sadhana, Sri Ramakrishna, having tasted the bliss of Absolute Consciousness, settled down as a calm and collected, wise and witty man of Dakshineswar. He had burnt all worldly desires, of name and fame, of lust and gold, in the flame of Absolute Knowledge. Anger, jealousy, egotism, shame, fear, and pride had all vanished from his heart. Instead, qualities and virtues like equanimity, straightforwardness, simplicity, and total unselfishness projected through his personality, as if qualities of future age.
Continued part 5...  |   Previous Part 3...  |  Index to all Parts...
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