Sri Ramakrishna’s renunciation
Disciple: Whatever you may say, Mother, renunciation and dispassion are the chief things. Shall we ever acquire them ?
Mother: Certainly, you will. You will gain everything if you but take refuge in the Master. Renunciation alone was his splendour. We utter his name and eat and enjoy things because he renounced all. People think that his devotees also must be very great, as he was a man of such complete renunciation.
Ah, me ! One day he went to my room in the Nahabat. He had no spices in his small bag. He used to chew them now and then. I gave him some to chew there, and also handed over to him a few packed in paper to take to his room. He proceeded ; but instead of going to his room, he went straight to the embankment of the Ganges. He did not see the way, nor was he conscious of it. He was repeating, ” Mother, shall I drown myself ! ” I became restless with agony. The river was full to the brim. I was then a young woman and would not go out of my room. I could not see anyone about. Whom could I send to him! At last 1 found a Brahmin belonging to the Kali temple coming in the direction of my room. Through him I called Hriday, who was then taking his meal. He left his plate, ran to the Master, caught hold of him, and brought him back to his room. A moment more and he would have dropped into the Ganges.”
Disciple : Why did he go south of the river ?
Mother : Because I put a few spices in his hand, he could not find his way. A holy man must not lay things by. His renunciation was a hundred per cent complete.
Once a Vaishnava Sadhu came to the Panchavati. At first he showed a great deal of renunciation. But, alas ! finally like a rat, he began to pull and gather various things – pots, cups, jars, grain, rice, pulses and so forth. The Master noticed it and said one day, ” Poor thing! This time he is going to be ruined ! ” He was about to be entangled in the snare of Maya. The Master advised him strongly about renunciation and further asked him to leave the place. Then he went away.
A devotee came to salute the Mother. As he was about to take his leave, she said, 1 was once deceived by showing Harish my affection. Therefore I do not nowadays show a person my feelings towards him.”
1st May, 1912
In the forenoon I went upstairs to read letters to the Holy Mother.
Disciple: The daughter of a devotee has written from her father-in-law’s place that she would like to come here to see you. She has sent you her salutations. She has further requested you to be careful so that her husband’s relatives might not know about her writing to you.
Mother: Then do not write any reply to her. Again she wants me to conceal it from her relatives. I do not know such a game of hide and seek. At Jayrambati, Jogindra, the postal deliverer, used to write letters for me. Many complained, saying, Does the postman see our letters ? ” They did not like my asking a man in humble position to write my letters for them. Why ? There is no deceit in me. Anybody who likes may see my letters.
Another devotee inquired as to when the Holy Mother would return to Jayrambati. I asked her, May I tell the devotee that you will return there in autumn at the time of the Jagaddhatri Puja ?
Mother: Oh, no, no ! Can one be sure of it ? As to where I shall be, that remains entirely in the hands of God. Today man is, and tomorrow he is not.
Disciple: O Mother, why should you talk like that ? It is because you are alive that so many people are able to see you and get peace of mind.
Mother : Yes, that is true.
Disciple: Please do live for our sake.
In a tender voice, choked with emotion, she said, Alas ! How fond they are of me ! I am also very fond of them.1‘ Her eyes were moist with tears. The disciple was fanning her. She said to him in a most compassionate voice, ” My child, I bless you from my heart that you live long, attain devotion, and enjoy peace. Peace is the principal thing. One needs peace alone,”
Disciple: Mother, one idea crops up in my mind constantly: Why do I not get the vision of the Master ? As he is our very own ‘, why does he not reveal himself to us ? Can’t he do so by his mere will ?
Mother: That is true. Who can say why he does not reveal himself when you suffer from so many miseries and sorrows ? Once Balaram’s wife was ill. The Master said to me, Go to Calcutta and visit her.” ” How can I go?” I said. 1 don’t see any carriage or other conveyance here.” The Master replied in an excited voice: What! Balaram’s family is in such trouble and you hesitate to go! You will walk to Calcutta. Go on foot.” At last a palanquin was brought and I set out from Dakshi-neswar. Twice I visited her during her illness. On another occasion I went on foot at night from Shyampukur. Where, indeed, will man be if God does not protect him in his trouble ?
Disciple: I know sorrows and sufferings are inevitable so long as a man lives in the physical body. I do not ask the Master to remove the sufferings. But can’t he console us by revealing himself to us in the midst of our troubles and sorrows ?