Reminiscences of Sri Ramakrishna
Disciple : Of what complexion was he ?
Mother: His complexion was like the colour of gold – like that of Harital (yellow orpiment). His complexion blended with the colour of the golden amulet which he wore on his arm. When I used to rub him with oil, I could clearly see a lustre coming out of his entire body …. When he would come out of his room in the temple, people used to stand in line and say to one another, ” Ah, there he goes! ” He was fairly stout. Mathur Babu gave him a low stool to sit on. It was a rather wide stool, but it was not quite big enough to hold him comfortably when he would squat on it to take his meals. People would look at him wonder-struck when he went with slow, steady steps to the Ganges to take his bath.
When he was at Kamarpukur, men and women looked at him with mouths agape whenever he chanced to come out of the house. One day as he went out for a walk in the direction of the canal known as Bhutir Khal ‘, the women who had gone there to fetch water looked at him agape and said, There the Master goes! ” Annoyed at this, Sri Ramakrishna said to Hriday, ” Well, Hridu, please put a veil on my head at once.”
I never saw the Master sad. He was joyous in the company of everyone, were he a boy of five or a man of ripe old age. I never saw him morose, my child. Ah, what happy days those were! At Kamarpukur he would get up early in the morning and tell me, Today I shall eat this particular green, please cook it for me.” With the other women of the family I would accordingly arrange for his meal. After a few days he said, What has come over me ? The moment I get up from sleep I say, What shall I eat ?, What shall I eat ? ‘ ” Then he said to me, I have no desire for any particular food. I shall eat whatever you will cook for me.”
He used to go to Kamarpukur to get relief from severe diarrhoea from which he was suffering at Dakshineswar. He used to say, Goodness, my belly is filled only with filth. There is no end to it! ” Suffering thus, he developed a kind of hatred for the body and thereafter he did not pay much heed to it … .
Nowadays you see so many devotees everywhere. There is so much excitement and noise. But during the illness of the Master one of the devotees ran away in order to avoid giving twenty rupees. The expenses for the treatment of the Master during his illness were raised by subscription, and this devotee had been asked to contribute that sum. Now it is not at all difficult to serve the Master. For though food is offered to him, it is really eaten by* the devotees. If you make the Master sit, he will sit. If you make him lie down, he will remain in that position. After all, he is now a picture!
The Master saw (in a vision) Balaram Babu with a turban on his head and his hands folded, standing by the image of Kali. After that Balaram always remained with folded hands before the Master. He never saluted the Master by touching his feet. The Master understood his thought and said to him one day, ” O Balaram, my foot is itching ; kindly massage it gently.” Immediately Balaram sent for Naren or Rakhal or someone else among the boys who attended on the Master, and asked him to massage his feet.
Disciple : Once I asked Swami Brahmananda about Sri Ramakrishna’s complexion. He said, ” The Master’s complexion was like mine (i.e. dark).”
Mother: Yes, he looked like that when Rakhal and other disciples met him. At that time he had lost his former good health and complexion. For example look at me and see my complexion and health. Did
I use to look like this formerly ? No, I was very pretty then. I was not stout, but later on I became so …
It was the time of worship. The Mother made herself ready to go to the shrine room. I came downstairs. After the worship was over, I went upstairs again to bring the Prasada for the devotees. As I took the leaves containing the sweets and fruits, suddenly my elbow touched the Holy Mother’s feet. ” Ah ! ” said the Mother, and saluted me with folded hands. ” That’s nothing,” said I. But she was not satisfied with merely bowing down before me and said, ” Come, my child, let me kiss you.” She touched my chin with her hand and kissed it and so became pacified. Thus she used to respect her disciples as the manifestations of God, and at the same time show her affection to them as a mother does to her own children.