21. Caution in Understanding the Words of the Great
One day at the Udbodhan a certain Brahmacharin told the revered Sarat Maharaj in support of his case, “The Mother said this.” The Swami immediately became grave and said, “Look here, even I am not able to understand many a time if the Mother really said something, or whether what I heard was only an echo of my thought.” At this the Brahmacharin felt ashamed and left the place quietly with head cast down In reality when he communicated to the Mother something earlier, he had done so only to serve some end of his own The Mother too acquiesced in it only to please him (the son). In truth, he was expressing his own thoughts through the Mother. The simple child asks the mother for the moon in the sky. The mother to please the little one just stretches out her hand as if to catch the moon! That is the reason why it is necessary to discriminate if the words were the Mother’s or one’s own. It is wrong to think that what the Mother said to a person on a certain occasion, would be beneficial for all or at all times.
The words of caution that revered Swami Vivekananda gave about publishing the sayings of Sri Ramakrishna can be summarised in two ways. Some of them were relevant to particular persons in a given situation. They had no application to all and in all conditions. That is why they have to be applied according to time, place and circumstances. The other kind of teachings was for everybody and was applicable under all circumstances. So if we apply every one of them everywhere without discrimination, there is the possibility of our being misled.
Before the Bengali book Sri Sri Mayer Katha on the Holy Mother was published, revered Rashbehari Maharaj, one of its chief recorders, insisted that exactly what was noted in his diary, should be published verbatim He insisted on this so much, because he had written down exactly as the words came out of the Mother’s lips. At this, the revered Sarat Maharaj explained to him that nothing should be published without proper editing. When Rashbehari Maharaj strongly objected to it, Sarat Maharaj said, “For whom and for what purpose do you want to publish these? Is it not for the good of the people? Is it not for people to make their lives blessed by following the instructions of the Mother?
If so, it is necessary to publish them in such a way that they can really understand their import.” Not agreeing even then, when Rashbehari Maharaj insisted still on his original stand, the revered Sarat Maharaj said, “You have written down the words of the Mother, which she spoke on a certain occasion and on a topic that was then under discussion It is possible that, under a different Set of circumstances and at some other time, she might have spoken in a different way, which did not find a place in your note book. So the reader would think that what you have written is the only solution. That is why they should appear in print only after due deliberation.” Cautioning him more about this point Sarat Maharaj said, “You remember such and such persons went to ‘M’ to reprimand him Reading in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna about the high praise that the Master had showered on a certain person, these people had been frequenting the place of this person to have his company. But after some time, when they found him to be of a very low mentality, they were pained. They thought that ‘M’ was to be blamed for their being thus deceived and they actually took him to task.” Rashbehari Maharaj knew about this incident very well and so he fully agreed with the revered Sarat Maharaj on this question. But the next instant he said that it was true that that person had fallen from what he was before; but still, at times, he would go into a deep trance surcharged with emotion He had these even upto the end. There were many who could bear witness to this. At this the revered Sarat Maharaj came to the limit of his patience, and said, “Do you think that getting into a trance under emotion is a great thing? If a Sadhu has not strength of character, renunciation, Tapas, faith and strong devotion, then what else could he have?” Saying this, the Maharaj became grave, quiet and indrawn. Everyone present there stood transfixed. In that quiet night surcharged with the vibrant thought of the Swami, there flashed a ray of lightning in the dark cavity of our hearts – a new revelation
for us of the realm divine!