Shivananda on Ramakrishna
When I first began to visit Sri Ramakrishna, I often felt like crying. One night at Dakshineswar, by the bank of the Ganges, I wept to my heart’s content. In the meantime the Master had been asking for me. When I returned to his room, he said: ‘You know, if you weep before the Lord, your tears wipe out the mind’s impurities of many births, and his grace immediately descends upon you. It is good to weep before the Lord.’
Ah, those days at Dakshineswar were like heaven itself!
From morning till one in the afternoon everyone was busy picking flowers and making other preparations for worship until the poor were fed. In the meantime, Sri Ramakrishna would discuss spiritual subjects and the devotees listened to him with rapt attention. Even fun and jokes were related to God. There was no other topic. Everything culminated in his samadhi. After lunch, Sri Ramakrishna used to rest for a short while. Then again he spoke on spiritual matters. At vesper time he used to go to the temple of Mother Kali and fan her a little. He would become God-intoxicated and return to his room reeling in a state of ecstasy. He used to ask us, who were practicing spiritual disciplines under his guidance, ‘Tell me, do you feel divine inebriation when you mediate mornings and evenings?’
At night, Sri Ramakrishna slept very little. He used to get up and wake those who were sleeping in his room, saying, ‘Don’t sleep too much! Wake up and meditate!’ Again he would lie down a short while, then rise before dawn and chant the sweet name of the Lord. The others would sit and meditate in their own ways.
Sri Ramakrishna prayed at one time, ‘Mother, you revealed yourself to Ramprasad. Why won’t you reveal yourself to me?” All of Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings are of devotion mixed with knowledge.”
Sri Ramakrishna did not initiate disciples like an ordinary guru. He used to awaken our spiritual consciousness. He would draw something on the tongue and one would immediately have some ecstatic experience. One day, when I returned from prostrating in the Kali Temple, the Master remarked: ‘You belong to that high spiritual realm whence manifest name and form.’”
- www.vivekananda.net edited by Frank Parlato Jr.