I get a weekly email summary published on behalf of the Vedanta Society of St. Louis.
Following is an excerpt from a recent message:
Excerpt from See God with Open Eyes: Ramakrishna suffered for the sake of humanity!
The Master had a wonderful and musical voice; many people were moved when they heard him sing. Yet it was his throat that became affected by cancer. Swami Saradananda recorded:
One day in Shyampukur he had an incredible vision. He saw his subtle body come out of his gross body and move around the room. He noticed some wounds on the back of its throat and was wondering how those wounds came to be, when the Divine Mother explained it to him: People who had committed various sins had become pure by touching him, thereby transferring their sins to his body and causing those wounds. At Dakshineswar the Master sometimes told us that he would not hesitate to be born millions of times and suffer for the good of humanity.
At Cossipore, the following incident occurred:
Gopal used to wash the Master’s cancerous sore daily with a special solution of margosa leaves boiled in water, which is considered to be antiseptic. One day when Gopal touched the sore, the Master cried out with pain. Gopal said sadly: “Sir, what can I do? If I wash your throat, you will get pain, so let me not do it.” “No, no, you go on washing it. Look, I have no more pain,” the Master replied. He then withdrew his mind from that spot, and Gopal was able to wash the area carefully. All the while the Master remained silent and cheerful as if Gopal were washing someone else’s wound.
See God with Open Eyes; Ch 1 Meditation on Ramakrishna’s Form p 22 www.vedantastl.org
The anecdotes described in the life of great Saints and Rishis would appear unreal, metaphysical or miraculous. One could wonder how ordinary people can relate to these reported events and experiences? Following are some thoughts:
According to Vedic Philosophy, we are familiar with objectivity and non-attachment as the essentials required for engagement in enlightened living (i.e.) a life of self awareness, where calm and tranquility prevail as a way of life. We can call this way of living as Maintaining Equilibrium in Activities and Life (MEAL). With this understanding one can look at the good and bad in one’s own life as if it belongs to some external entity. Such understanding and vision of one’s own body and even the sore wounds at the back of the neck as “external” is evidence of objectivity and non-attachment? (e.g.): Ramakrishna Paramahamsa saw his subtle body come out of his gross body and move around the room. He could notice the wounds in his throat as the wounds in an external entity.
We are all mortal souls. But, every soul can become a saint, if we are relentlessly committed to easing the pain and suffering of all around us? After all, the suffering of anyone around is like the upheaval of the waves on the ocean surface, while the deep ocean (the universal soul) remains calm and tranquil? We should all try it and see if each can help to ease the pain and suffering of all around us without restraint, including one-self. The subjective forces of needs, wants, bias and preferences will limit our ability to do so, even if we wish. The attachment to oneself, health and welfare, family, friends, religion, nation, etc. also bring vast impediments to our non-attachment. Only a relentless passion and commitment will bring forth the needed objectivity and non-attachment.(e.g.): At Dakshineswar the Master sometimes told us that he would not hesitate to be born millions of times and suffer for the good of humanity.
Our care giving for others, even for a saintly person also requires objectivity and non-attachment. Most people may reject the needed care because of their bias and ignorance (lack of objectivity). We are also hesitant to offer care to others due to a false notion of “respect” especially when those in need are saints, elders, parents or teachers held in high esteem. These limitations apply to everyone of us – the caregiver as well as the care receiver. Saints like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa taught this required objectivity and non-attachment through their own practice in every act of life – big and small (e.g.): Ramakrishna withdrew his mind from that spot, and Gopal was able to wash the area carefully. All the while the Master remained silent and cheerful as if Gopal were washing someone else’s wound.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa an “avataar” like predecessors – Buddha,Christ, Shankaracharya Ramanujar , Madhavacharya, Ramana Maharishi , Maha Periyavar to name a few
In Kali Yuga just like the original Rishis of Sanatana Dharma these souls are many and impart the teachings catering to the common persons level of understanding language and flavors.
Poets like Rumi, Tulsidas Tyagaraja enhance the teachings.
We are indeed fortunate to have shravanam (listening), smaranam , mananam and nidhidyaasa (Explore or self-enquiry) and assimilate their pointers.
Mano buddhi ahankaar chittha deha na aham
We are the witness to all these processes and Ramakrishna through his experience reveals this
Thank you Subbu for sharing this 😊