Professor Hiren Mukherjee was a legendary Communist Leader, an accomplished Parliamentarian and a Scholar of eminence. He taught at Rippon College, Presidency College and at the University of Calcutta before his participation in active politics. He was also the recipient of the Padmabhusana in 1990 and the Padmavibhusana in 1991.

It was Ramakrishna’s unalloyed, if also apparently unsophisticated, love for all beings overflowing so beautifully that its nectarine quality never fades, his humility, that he wore like a natural garment, humility, however, which had not a tincture of passive piety but gleamed with sheer certitude over his own intimate realization, and the simple sublimity of his equation of jiva with Siva (that is to say, of every sentient being with the godhead) — all this and so much more beyond the purview of this talk that places the Paramahamsa on a peerless pedestal where vying with West or East becomes irrelevant and petty.

If there has been anybody in modern times who symbolized, without the least trace of solemnity and scholasticism, the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad’s definition of religion as ‘the honeyed essence of all creation’ (sarvesam bhutanam madhu), it was Ramakrishna, in his quintessence ‘the beauty of holiness’. ...It was Ramakrishna, unconcerned about contentions over superiority between East and West and vice versa, from whom, essentially, Vivekananda had learnt, rather imbibed, as one does one’s mother’s milk, that ‘not princes or prelates and periwigged charioteers’ but the common, earthly people, suppressed cruelly for ages but never entirely vanquished, are the salt of our earth.25