The reason for my absence and the inactivity of my blog.

26 11 2010

 

Guru and Nitai

I have basically left this blog inactive for a quite a while and I would like to explain why. First off we had to leave the shelter of Radhakund because India changed their visa laws which creates a great deal of trouble for many spiritualists who come there to practice their sadhanas and lead a spiritual lifestyle. Every six months I am forced to leave the country for two months before I am allowed to return. This makes me incur a great deal of extra, unplanned for expenses as well as an insecure feeling–never really feeling like you have any place to call home.

I had came down with a high fever just a short while before we were to return to Radhakund. Upon diagnoses it was discovered that I had Acute AML Leukemia. I was told that I needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately or I faced near certain death in a short period of time. I was so sick that I agreed as it seemed to be my only option. The same day they had started me on a course of chemotherapy. I was hospitalized for over a month before the doctor thought I could be released. In another week I will be admitted again for another course of chemotherapy. This whole time I have been in Bangkok, Thailand.

I really don’t like leaving my blog inactive for so long and though Radhakund is my main source of inspiration, and all my resource materials are far from my reach, I will try to do my best to add some new posts.

I have posted a few things on another website and I believe I will begin by cross-posting  those things here first before seeking new material to post.

I thank whatever readers I have for their patience and to please forgive me for my lack of maintaining my blog.

Nabadwip Panch tattva making this information available to the suffering souls who have had no contact with Hari Nam nor with the contact of the Vaisnavas.

 

Jai Nitai! Jai Guru!

Sakhi





Disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji

23 08 2009

Jai Nitai!

Today is the day of the disappearance lila of Siddha Sri Ramhari Das Babaji. He is one of the 12 great Mahatmas that are connected with our param-gurudeva Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj. In any festival connected to Ramdas Babaji these 12 Mahatmas are served along with him.

Ramhari Das Babaji took birth in 1847 in Sripat Shantipur. Even as a child he exhibited strong spiritual tendencies and renunciation. As so often happens in these situations his parents thought to marry him to take his mind from his spiritual practices. But he just took complete shelter of Sri Nam and left home and went to Nabadwip hoping to get the kripa of the Vaisnavas there.

By good fortune he met Siddha Jagannath Das Babaji and took his shelter and guidance. Jagannath Das Babaji could understand that he was very serious and determined in his sadhana and arranged for him to receive diksha from Sri Radhikavilasa Thakura of Sri Khanda who was then staying in the kutir with Jagannath Baba.. Then Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj himself gave him veshashraya and named him Ramhari Das. Since his home and family were not far away his family members continued to give Ramhari trouble so he decided to go to Braja to do his bhajan. He stayed at Kesi Ghat, Radhakund, and Lala Babu’s kunja in Vamsivat for 12 years

He was a very loving and affection soul and treated all equally. He was especially fond of Gaura kirtan and instructed his sisyas to read Locana Das’s Dhamali as part of their daily sadhana. He was so attracted to Gaura Nam that if anyone said the name of Gaura he would embrace them with love. His favorite Vaisnavas to associate with were the sisyas of Jagannath Das Babaji and he also loved to do kirtan with our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji which they did regularly.

It is so sweet to mention that when anyone would come to visit him from Nabadvip he would immediately welcome him with a garland of  fresh flowers and some cooling sandalwood paste.  He would then take that person on his lap and ask some philosophical questions about Gaurahari. If he didn’t get answers that pleased him he would ask the person to quickly go back to Nabadwip and have darshan of Nitai and Gaura and to get the association of the Gaura bhaktas there.

Rajarshi Banamali Bahadur, a close associate of Madhava Das Babaji came to stay at Lala Babu’s kutir. One day after honoring the prasad of Sri Radhavinod he became so overwhelmed in rapture that he began to dance and yell out, “Gaura, Gaura!” Sri Bijoy Krsna Gosvami’s disciple, Sri Brajabala Mahasaya, Sri Giridhari Das Babaji, Sri Madhava Das Babaji and many others came to join in the kirtana and they all danced in complete ecstacy!

On one day in 1907 at around noontime. he told his disciples, “Sri Gaurhari and His companions are performing kirtana and are dancing in ecstasy in Srivas Angan. I have to go there immediately.  Please bathe me and decorate me with tilak.”  After his sisyas carried out his orders, he sat in meditation with his eyes closed and entered nitya-lila.






Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji

11 08 2009
Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji Maharaj

Sri Sri 108 Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji Maharaj

Amar Rajani Jyetha
Jai Nitai!
Our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj had many siddha disciples and of those who did their
bhajan in Brindavan two were particularly dear to him. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji and Siddha Radha
Charan Das Babaji, the latter was commonly known as Rajani Baba. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji is much
more well known, mostly due to the fact that his hagiography was included in Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor’s book,
Braja ke bhakta, or the Saints of Braja. Both of the above-mentioned Babaji’s are my gurudeva’s gurubhais,
so from now on I will refer to them as “jyetha” which means uncle in Bengali. Both of them were very close
and loved each other like brothers.
Rajani Jyetha’s father was great Vaisnava and a scholar. Bijoy Krishna Goswami would come to his house to
hear his Hari-katha. In fact, Bijoy Krishna Goswami was in their house and was present for the birth of
Rajani Jyetha, and he predicted that he would become a great Vaisnava. At a very early age, Rajani Jyetha
took to the yoga-marg and quickly attained Brahma-jnana, realizing Sri Krishna in His form as the all-
pervading Brahman. During this time he was with the Indian Freedom Fighing movement and the English
police arrested him and placed him in jail. While he was in his cell he performed his yoga practice. Some of
the Government officials noticed his shakti and saintly qualities and started to cooperate with him by
providing better facility for his yoga sadhana. Shortly after his release from prison he met Sripad Ramdas
Babaji and received his blessings. He surrendered to Babaji Maharaj and began doing bhajan of Nitai Gaura
Radhey Shyam.
He made very rapid advancement in bhakti and soon became siddha. Sripad Ramdas Babaji loved him very
much and was very proud of him and enjoyed talking about his early attainments. Ramdas Babaji even
used to enjoy glorifying him in front of his elder gurubhai, Gauranga Baba.
At Govinda Kund in Brindavan Rajani Jyetha has an ashram and his samadhi is located there. At one time
he resided in Sri Path Bari Ashram. My gurudeva then lived in that room after Rajani Jyetha left there to go
to Brindavan.

Jai Nitai!

Our param-gurudev Sripad Ramdas Babaji Maharaj had many siddha disciples and of those who did their bhajan in Brindavan two were particularly dear to him. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji and Siddha Radha Charan Das Babaji, the latter was commonly known as Rajani Baba. Both of them were very close and loved each other just like brothers. Siddha Gauranga Das Babaji is much more well known, mostly due to the fact that his hagiography was included in Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor’s book, Braja ke bhakta, or The Saints of Braja. Both of the above-mentioned Babaji’s are my gurudeva’s gurubhais, so from now on I will simply refer to them as “jetha” which means uncle in Bengali.

Rajani Jyetha’s father was a great Vaisnava and a scholar. Bijoy Krishna Goswami would come to his house to hear his Hari-katha. In fact, Bijoy Krishna Goswami was in their home and was present for the birth of Rajani Jetha, and he predicted that he would become a great Vaisnava. At a very early age, Rajani Jetha took to the yoga-marg and quickly attained Brahma-jnana, realizing Sri Krishna in His form as the all-pervading Brahman. During this time he was with the Indian freedom fighing movement and the English police arrested him and placed him in jail. While he was in his cell he performed his yoga practice. Some of the Government officials noticed his shakti and saintly qualities and started to cooperate with him by providing better facility for his yoga sadhana. Shortly after his release from prison he met Sripad Ramdas Babaji and received his blessings. He surrendered to Babaji Maharaj and began doing bhajan of Nitai Gaura Radhey Shyam.

He made very rapid advancement in bhakti and soon became siddha. Sripad Ramdas Babaji loved him very much and was very proud of him and enjoyed talking about his early attainments. Ramdas Babaji even used to enjoy glorifying him in front of his elder gurubhai, Gauranga Baba. At Govinda Kund in Brindavan Rajani Jetha has an ashram and his samadhi is located there. At one time he resided in Sri Path Bari Ashram. My gurudeva  lived in that room after Rajani Jetha left there to go to Brindavan.  More about his life and lila to come…

The picture of Rajani Jyetha that hangs in my gurudeva's room in Path Bari

The picture of Rajani Jetha that hangs in my gurudeva's room at Path Bari Ashram





Ramakrishna Paramahamsa & Bijoy Krishna Goswami experience ananda at Ariadaha

10 08 2009
Jai Nitai!
I was told the following story from a gurubhai about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna
Goswami. My gurubhai heard it directly from the lips of the pujari at Das Gadadhar’s Sripat.
Goswamiji was visiting with Ramakrishna Parmahamsa in his parlor at Dakshineshwar, and during the
course of their conversation he expressed some  disappointment and heaviness of heart. Bijoy Krishna
Goswami was highly advanced on the yoga-marg, but he was not satisfied. Sri Ramakrishna knew about
the background of Goswamiji–that he was a direct decsendent of Sri Advaita Acharya and grew up in a
Vaisnava family. He knew that his natural disposition is that of a bhakta of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. He
also knew what Goswamiji needed to feel whole and happy again.
Ramakrishna suggested they go for a walk. Goswamiji had no idea where they were going, but that was of
no consequence to him. He was simply enjoying his company. Ramakrishna brought him to an area not so
far away known as Ariadaha. It is the Sripat of Das Gadadhar and there is a Mandir of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. When they arrived at the mandir the doors of the deities rooms were shut and locked.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa yelled out for the pujari, but no one was responding. After some time
Ramakrishna closed his eyes and entered samadhi and with his mystic siddhis he made all the doors open
up, thus providing darshan for Goswamiji and himself. When Vijaya Krishna Goswami saw the beauty of
Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar he became lost in rapture and his heart became filled with divine love. His
dormant bhakti was awakened by the mercy of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna. Soon after this event, Sri Bijoy
Krishna Goswami abandoned the yoga-marg and began practicing suddha-bhakti in Brindavan.
The lila of Bijoy Krishna Goswami’s life illustrated the supremecy of bhakti. He was not just an ordinary
practioner stumbling from one path to the next, but he mercifully demonstrated the topmost goal of human
endeavour, prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam. He attained siddhi in karma, jnana, and yoga, but he did not
become fully satisfied until he acheived siddhi in prema-bhakti.
Now that we find ourselves at the Sripat of Das Gadadhar I will share a little information and katha related
to this place. I have been here several times in the past. It is a beatiful, quiet location on the bank of the
Ganga in an otherwise boisterous part of Kolkata. Several times I have stayed at my gurubhai, Subrata Ji’s
inlaw’s home which is approximately midway between Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir and Ariadaha Path Bari,
as it is otherwise known, thus providing me with ample time to visit both places to my full satisfaction.
When Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda to Bengal to preach, Das Gadadhar was among those who
accompanied him. Their first stop was Ariadaha where they stayed for about two months. Das Gadadhar was a very close
associate of Nitai-Gaura, and was one of the few of Nityananda’s associates that were not in sakhya-rasa. He
was in Sakhi-bhav and in Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika he is described as the effulgence of Canrakanti Sakhi’s body and a partial expansion of Purnananda Sakhi.
At the mandir Das Gadadhar there is a gorgeous murti of Sri Bala Gopla which belonged to him. Nitaichand picked up Bala Gopal from the altar and held him to his chest and danced in rapture! Nitai began to roar while blissfully dancing with Gopal.
One time Madhavananda Ghosa began to perform kirtan describing Krsna’s dana-lila.
The sweet singing of Madhavananda and the poetic descriptions
of the dana-lila made Nitaichand exhibit all of the sattvika-bhavas within
His body simultanously as He danced like one intoxicated. The gestures He
made while dancing were like flashes of lightning; His arms and legs moved with
unparalleled grace. His highly expressive eye movements, His sweet smiling,
wild laughter, and the shivering and quaking of His head, provided a feast
for ears and eyes of the Vaisnavas. Bringing His two beautiful lotus feet
together, He would then jump in such a way that completely captivated ones
mind. Whomever He would glance at would find themselves floating in an ocean of
Krishna-prema, and by His merciful glance they forgot about the
existence of their physical body. The level of spiritual rapture that is sought by
great yogis and rishis was attained that day by the ordinary men and women of
Ariadaha, just by witnessing Nitai’s prema-bhakti for Sri Krishna.
Nityananda Prabhu organized the event of Dana lila in the house of
Das Gadadhar. The temple was established by Das Gadadhar, and the site of the Dana lila,
Das Gadadhar’s bhajan ashram, and his memorial samadhi can all be seen there today.
There is also a small kund named Nityananda Sarovar behind the mandir. The mandir features the deities of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Sri Bala Gopal, Sri Sri Nitai Gaura, and Nityananda Shakti Sri Jahnava
Thakurani.
The deities are all exceedingly stunning and gorgeous. Nitai is Gaura’s older brother and at this mandir so Nitai is much larger, therefore more capable of taking care of His younger brother, Sri Gaurhari. What can I say about Sri Jahnava Ma (Ananga Manjari) ? Her beauty is simply breathtaking!

Jai Nitai!

I was told the following story from a gurubhai about Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami. My gurubhai heard it directly from the lips of the pujari at Das Gadadhar’s Sripat.

Goswamiji was visiting with Ramakrishna Parmahamsa in his parlor at Dakshineshwar, and during the course of their conversation he expressed some  disappointment and heaviness of heart. Bijoy Krishna Goswami was highly advanced on the yoga-marg, but he was not satisfied. Sri Ramakrishna knew about the background of Goswamiji–that he was a direct descendant of Sri Advaita Acharya and grew up in a Vaisnava family. He knew that his natural disposition is that of a bhakta of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. He also knew what Goswamiji needed to feel whole and happy again.

Ramakrishna suggested they go for a walk. Goswamiji had no idea where they were going, but that was of  no consequence to him. He was simply enjoying his company. Ramakrishna brought him to an area not so far away known as Ariadaha. It is the Sripat of Das Gadadhar and there is a Mandir there of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar. When they arrived at the mandir the doors of the deities rooms were shut and locked. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa yelled out for the pujari, but no one was responding. After some time Ramakrishna closed his eyes and entered samadhi and with his mystic siddhis he made all the doors open up, thus providing darshan for Goswamiji and himself. When Vijaya Krishna Goswami saw the beauty of  Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar he became lost in rapture and his heart became filled with divine love. The bhakti lying dormant in his heart was awakened by the mercy of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna. Soon after this event, Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami abandoned the yoga-marg and began practicing suddha-bhakti in Brindavan.

The lila of Bijoy Krishna Goswami’s life illustrated the supremacy of bhakti. He was not just an ordinary practioner stumbling from one path to the next, but he mercifully demonstrated the topmost goal of human endeavour, prema for Sri Sri Radhey Shyam. He attained siddhi in karma, jnana, and yoga, but he did not become fully satisfied until he acheived siddhi in prema-bhakti.

Now that we find ourselves at the Sripat of Das Gadadhar I will share a little information and katha related to this place. I have been here several times in the past. It is a beautiful, quiet location on the bank of the Ganga in an otherwise boisterous part of Kolkata. Several times I have stayed at my gurubhai, Subrata Ji’s inlaw’s home which is approximately midway between Dakshineshwar Kali Mandir and Ariadaha Path Bari, as it is otherwise known, thus providing me with ample opportunity to visit both places with ease to my full satisfaction.

When Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda to Bengal to preach, Das Gadadhar was among those who accompanied him. Their first stop was Ariadaha where they stayed for about two months. Das Gadadhar was a very close associate of Nitai-Gaura, and was one of the few of Nityananda’s associates that were not in sakhya-rasa. He was in Sakhi-bhav and in Gaura Ganoddesa Dipika he is described as the combination of the effulgence of Candrakanti Sakhi’s body and a partial expansion of Purnananda Sakhi.

At the mandir of Das Gadadhar there is a gorgeous murti of Sri Bala Gopal which belonged to him. Nitaichand picked up Bala Gopal from the altar and held him to his chest and danced in rapture! Nitai began to roar while blissfully dancing with Gopal.

One time Madhavananda Ghosa began to perform kirtan describing Krsna’s dana-lila. The sweet singing of Madhavananda and the poetic descriptions of the dana-lila made Nitaichand exhibit all of the sattvika-bhavas within His body simultanously as He danced like one intoxicated. The gestures He made while dancing were like flashes of lightning,  His arms and legs moved with unparalleled grace. His highly expressive eye movements, His sweet smiling, wild laughter, and the shivering and quaking of His head, provided a feast for ears and eyes of the Vaisnavas. Bringing His two beautiful lotus feet together He would then jump in such a way that completely captivated ones mind. Whomever He would glance at would find themselves floating in an ocean of Krishna-prema, and by His merciful glance they forgot about the existence of their physical body. The level of spiritual attainment that is sought by great yogis and rishis was acheived that day by the ordinary men and women of Ariadaha, just by witnessing Nitai’s prema-bhakti for Sri Krishna.

Nityananda Prabhu organized the event of Dana lila in the house of Das Gadadhar. The temple was established by Das Gadadhar, and the site of the Dana lila, Das Gadadhar’s bhajan ashram, and his memorial samadhi can all be seen there today. There is also a small kund named Nityananda Sarovar behind the mandir. The mandir features the deities of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Sri Bala Gopal, Sri Sri Nitai Gaura, and Nityananda Shakti Sri Jahnava Thakurani.

The deities are all exceedingly stunning and gorgeous. Nitai is Gaura’s older brother  so Nitai is much larger and therefore more capable of taking care of His younger brother, Sri Gaurhari.  And what can I say about Sri Jahnava Ma (Ananga Manjari).  Her beauty is simply breathtaking!





Informal talks between Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami

8 08 2009
VIJAY: “Don’t the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj bring men salvation?”
Vijay, the Brahmo preacher
Vijay was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities.  He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities.  Advaita Goswami, one of his remote ancestors, had been an intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya.  Thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Vijay’s veins.  As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Vijay no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness.  Thus Vijay was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company.  He would listen to the Master’s words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.
It was a week-day.  Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.
Bondage removed by strong renunciation
VIJAY: “What must the bound soul’s condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?”
MASTER: “He can free himself from attachment to ‘woman and gold’ if, by the grace of God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation.  What is this strong renunciation? One who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, ‘Well, all will happen in the course of time; let me now simply repeat the name of God.’ But a man possessed of a strong spirit of renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child.  A man of strong renunciation seeks nothing but God.  He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he were going to be drowned in it.  He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to fly away from them.  And he does go away.  He never thinks, ‘Let me first make some arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.’ He has great inward resolution.
(To Vijay) “Come here now and then.  I like to see you very much.”
VIJAY: “I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can’t always come here.  But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible.”
Difficulties of preaching
MASTER (to Vijay): “The task of a religious teacher is indeed difficult.  One cannot teach men without a direct command from God.  People won’t listen to you if you teach without such authority.  Such teaching has no force behind it.  One must first of all attain God through spiritual discipline or some other means.  Thus armed with authority from God, one can deliver lectures.
“After receiving the command from God, one can be a teacher and give lectures anywhere.  He who receives authority from God also receives power from Him.  Only then can he perform the difficult task of a teacher.
“An insignificant tenant was once engaged in a lawsuit with a big landlord.  People realized that there was a powerful man behind the tenant.  Perhaps another big landlord was directing the case from behind.  Man is an insignificant creature.  He cannot fulfil the difficult task of a teacher without receiving power direct from God.”
MASTER: “How is it ever possible for one man to liberate another from the bondage of the world? God alone, the Creator of this world-bewitching maya, can save men from maya.  There is no other refuge but that great Teacher, Satchidananda.  How is it ever possible for men who have not realized God or received His command, and who are not strengthened with divine strength, to save others from the prison-house of the world?
“One day as I was passing the Panchavati on my way to the pine-grove, I heard a bullfrog croaking.  I thought it must have been seized by a snake.  After some time, as I was coming back, I could still hear its terrified croaking.  I looked to see what was the matter, and found that a water-snake had seized it.  The snake could neither swallow it nor give it up.  So there was no end to the frog’s suffering.  I thought that had it been seized by a cobra it would have been silenced after three croaks at the most.  As it was only a water-snake, both of them had to go through this agony.  A man’s ego is destroyed after three croaks, as it were, if he gets into the clutches of a real teacher.  But if the teacher is an ‘unripe’ one, then both the teacher and the disciple undergo endless suffering.  The disciple cannot get rid either of his ego or of the shackles of the world.  If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher, he doesn’t attain liberation.”

Jai Nitai!

There are a number of  exchanges that took place between Bijoy Krishna Goswami and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I will soon tell a story that took place at Ariadaha near Dakshineswar where Sri Ramakrishna greatly inspired Sri Bijoy Krishna Goswami on the bhakti-marg. I just acquired a copy of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and thought I would share a discussion or two.

Bijoy Krishna Goswami as a preacher for the Brahma Samaj

Bijoy Krishna Goswami as a preacher for the Brahma Samaj

Bijoy was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities.  He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities.  Sri Advaita Acharya was one of his direct ancestors, thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Bijoy’s veins.  As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Bijoy no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness.  Thus Bijoy was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company.  He would listen to the Master’s words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

It was a week-day.  Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.

Bondage removed by strong renunciation

Bijoy: “What must the bound soul’s condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?”

Ramakrishna: “He can free himself from attachment to ‘woman and gold’ if, by the grace of God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation.  What is this strong renunciation? One who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, ‘Well, all will happen in the course of time; let me now simply repeat the name of God.’ But a man possessed of a strong spirit of renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child.  A man of strong renunciation seeks nothing but God.  He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he were going to be drowned in it.  He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to fly away from them.  And he does go away.  He never thinks, ‘Let me first make some arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.’ He has great inward resolution.

(To Bijoy) “Come here now and then.  I like to see you very much.”

Bijoy: “I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can’t always come here.  But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible.”

“Don’t the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj bring men salvation?”

Difficulties of preaching

Ramakrishna: “The task of a religious teacher is indeed difficult.  One cannot teach men without a direct command from God.  People won’t listen to you if you teach without such authority.  Such teaching has no force behind it.  One must first of all attain God through spiritual discipline or some other means.  Thus armed with authority from God, one can deliver lectures. “After receiving the command from God, one can be a teacher and give lectures anywhere.  He who receives authority from God also receives power from Him.  Only then can he perform the difficult task of a teacher. “How is it ever possible for one man to liberate another from the bondage of the world? God alone, the Creator of this world-bewitching maya, can save men from maya.  There is no other refuge but that great Teacher, Satchidananda.  How is it ever possible for men who have not realized God or received His command, and who are not strengthened with divine strength, to save others from the prison-house of the world?

“One day as I was passing the Panchavati on my way to the pine-grove, I heard a bullfrog croaking.  I thought it must have been seized by a snake.  After some time, as I was coming back, I could still hear its terrified croaking.  I looked to see what was the matter, and found that a water-snake had seized it.  The snake could neither swallow it nor give it up.  So there was no end to the frog’s suffering.  I thought that if it had  been seized by a cobra it would have been silenced after three croaks at the most.  As it was only a water-snake, both of them had to go through this agony.  A man’s ego is destroyed after three croaks, as it were, if he gets into the clutches of a real teacher. But if the teacher is an ‘unripe’ one, then both the teacher and the disciple undergo endless suffering.  The disciple cannot get rid either of his ego or of the shackles of the world.  If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher, he doesn’t attain liberation.”