Confession and absolution from sin
Mother: Oh, you are referring to that. He said those words in the house of a Devotee named Naren. A man had a mistress. She once came to Sri Ramakrishna and said with repentance, ” That man ruined me. Then he robbed me of my money and jewelleries.” Sri Ramakrishna was aware of the innermost contents of people’s minds. But still he
1 A book on Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings in Bengali. Its English translation is known as the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
would like to hear about things from their own mouth. He said to that woman, ” Is it true ? But he used to give us tall talks about devotion.” Then he described those traits which stand in the way of spirituality. In the end the woman confessed to him all her sins and was thus released from their evil effects.
Nalini: How is it possible, Mother ? How can one be absolved from sin by simply expressing it in words ? Is it possible to wash away sin in this manner ?
Mother: Why not, my dear child ? Sri Ramakrishna was a perfect soul. Certainly one can be free from sin by confessing it to one like him. Listen : If at a certain place people talk of virtue and vice, those present there must take a share of those qualities.
Nalini: How is it possible ?
Mother : Let me explain. Imagine a man confessed to you his virtue or vice. Whenever you will think of that man you will remember his virtuous or sinful acts. And they will thus leave an impression upon your mind. Is it not true, my child?
Again the talk turned to human misery, affliction and worry. The Mother said, ” Many people come to me and confess their worries. They say, 1 We have not realized God. How can we attain to peace ? ‘ Thereupon the thought would flash in my mind : ‘Why do they say so? Am I then a superhuman being ? I never knew what worry was. And the vision of God, – it lies, as it were, in the palm of my hand. Whenever I like it, I can have*it. . . “
She continued, saying, ” The Kathamrita by M. is very nice. This is because he has put down the exact words of the Master. How sweet are those words I I hear that he has enough materials for four or five books like that. But now he is old. I doubt if he will be able to undertake the task of bringing it all out as books. He has amassed a great deal of money from the sale of the book. The amount has been kept in deposit. He has given one thousand rupees for building my house at Jayrambati, besides meeting other incidental expenses. He also sends me ten rupees every month. He gives twenty rupees or more when I stay in Calcutta. Formerly he used to give me two rupees a month. He was then a school teacher.”
Devotee: I hear that Girish Babu contributed in the beginning a large amount of money for the maintenance of the monks.
Mother : Not a large amount. Suresh Mitra was rather munificent in his contribution. Girish also gave money now and then. He at one time defrayed all my expenses for a year and a half. How could he make a large contribution ? He was never a rich man. The early part of his life was not very clean. He lived in bad company and acted on the stage. But he was a man of wonderful faith. Therefore he received the grace of Sri Ramakrishna. In this incarnation Sri Ramakrishna has redeemed Girish. The life of each incarnation of God is marked by similar incidents. Gauranga saved the two brothers – Jagai and Madhai. Again, Sri Ramakrishna once remarked that Girish had within him the trait of Siva. What is there in money, my child ? Sri Ramakrishna could not touch it. His hand would recoil before money. He said, ” This world is illusory. Had I known it to be otherwise, I would have covered your Kamar-pukur with leaves of gold. But I know the world to be impermanent. God alone is real.”
Maku, her niece, said sorrowfully,”I could not settle myself at one place ! ” The Mother replied, ” How is that? Wherever you live, you must feel quite at home. You think that you will be happy at your husband’s place. How is that possible ? He gets a small salary. How can you manage with such a pittance? You are staying with me. It is just like your father’s place. Married girls sometimes live with their parents, do they not ? Can’t you practise renunciation a little ? ” Yogin-Ma was then standing by the window, and I was talking to her. The Mother said, ” Come in. I seldom see you nowadays.” Yogin-Ma laughed and entered the room. Her foot touched my body. As she was about to salute me with folded hands, I interrupted her and prostrated myself before her. What is this, Yogin-Ma ? ” said I, ” I am not even fit to take the dust of your feet. Why should you salute me if your foot touched my body ? ” In reply Yogin-Ma said, ” Why not? A snake, whether big or small, is a snake all the same. You are all •devotees and therefore worthy of our respect.” I looked at the Mother. The same compassionate smile lit her face. I took leave of her late at night.
28th July, 1918
It was evening when I visited the Holy Mother at her Baghbazar home. Just before evening service an elderly widow came and saluted the Mother by placing her head on the feet of the Mother. The Mother was greatly annoyed and said, ” Why do you touch the feet with the head ? I am not doing well at all. This sort of thing makes me worse.” The Holy Mother washed her feet after the widow had left the place.
Later, while I was rubbing the Mother’s body with medicated oil, the conversation drifted to Lalit Babu, a great householder devotee. I said, ” He was at one time fatally ill. But I heard that he recovered through your grace.”
Mother : He had many unfulfilled desires. He was very seriously ill with dropsy and was on the point of death. He said to me in a very plaintive voice, Mother, I have a great desire to build temples and hospitals at Kamarpukur and Jayrambati. But this great desire is not going to be fulfilled.” Ah, Sri Ramakrishna saved his life that time. Now he wants to carry out his plans. Let him try. He has bought a tank for me.