First Meeting with Sri Ramakrishna
As a young man, Narendra was searching for a guru or a guide. He used to meet many sages, sadhus and wise people, but he was impressed with none. So he continued his journey until one day in Varanasi he met Ramkrishna Paramhansa Ji. After spending some time in his surrounding, closely watching Ramkrishna, Swamiji instantly realized that this is the Guru he is looking for; who can guide him through.
In the evening, Vivekananda walked down to the hut of Ramkrishna and knocked the door. After many attempts, someone from inside asked, ‘Who are you?’ Vivekananda didn’t even take a second and replied,’ If I knew who am I, I would not have come here’. Ramkrishna after listening to this called inside the hut.
Swami Vivekananda in his own words explained the incident of first Interaction with Ramkrishna Paramhansa in detail :
I heard of this man (Ramkrishna Paramahamsa) and I went to hear him. He looked just like an ordinary man, with nothing remarkable about him. Well I sang the song, shortly after, he suddenly rose and raking me by the hand led me to the northern veranda, shutting the door behind him. It was locked from the outside; so we were alone, I thought he would give me some private instructions. But to my utter surprise he began to shed profuse tears of joy as he held my band, and addressing me most tenderly as one long familiar to him, said “Ah, you come so late! How could you be so unkind to keep me waiting so long! My ears are burn listening to the profane talks of worldly people, Oh, how I yearn to unburden my mind to one who can appreciate my innermost experience.”
I was altogether taken Backby his conduct. “Who is this man whom I have come to see?” I thought he must be stark mad. He went Backto his room, and bringing some sweets, sugar-candy and butter, began to feed me with his own hands. In vain did I say again and again, ” Please give the sweets to me. I shall share them with my friends!”. He simply said, ” They may have some afterwards,” and desisted only after I had eaten all. Then he seized me by the hand and said, ” Promise that you will come alone to me at an early date.” I had to say “Yes” and returned with him to my friends.
I sat and watched him. There was nothing wrong in his words, movements or behaviour towards others. Rather from his spiritual words and ecstatic states, he seemed to be a man of genuine renunciation, and there was a marked consistency between his words and Life, He used the simplest language, and I thought, “Can this man be a great teacher?” I crept near him and asked him the question which I had asked so often, have you seen God Sir?” “I have I see him just as I see you here, only in a much intense sense,” “God can be realised” he went on. “One can see and talk to Him as I am doing with you. But who cares to do so? People shed torrents of tears for their wife and children, for wealth or property, but who does for the sake of God? If one weeps sincerely for Him, He surely manifests Himself.” That impressed me at once.
For the first time I found a man who dared to say that he had seen God, that religion was a reality to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world. As i heard these things from his lips, I could not but believe that he was saying them not like an ordinary preacher but from the depths of his own realizations. But I could not reconcile his words with his strange conduct with me. So I concluded that he must be a monomaniac. Yet I could not help acknowledging the magnitude of his renunciation. ‘He may be a madman,” I thought, but only the fortunate few can have that renunciation. Even if insane this man is the holiest of the holy, a true Saint and for that alone be deserves the reverential homage of mankind?” With such conflicting thoughts I bowed before him and begged his leave to return to Calcutta.