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February 08, 2009

Page: 13/34

Home > 2009 Issues > February 08, 2009

Kids Org

Gospels of Sri Ramakrishna

By Ratnadeep Banerji

Godsend Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was an embodiment of Divine Wisdom. His vision of God was neither a figment of theology nor the troping of a poet but bore a subtlety for all ages and all societies. His gospels propound the Truth that the Vedas declare: ?He who realises Truth becomes one with Truth. By the vision of the Divine, man himself becomes Divine?. His life and realisation are not engulfed in the haze of dogmatic beliefs but it stands on profound rationale. This is precisely what yoga dictates. So as a true yogi, Sri Ramakrishna experimented with spiritual laws without accepting them in blind faith and thus established that religion is not occultism or so-called mysticism but a higher way of life. Ramakrishna?s parables permeate all boundaries of parochialism. Brahman is omnipresent, from the blade of grass to all pervading Brahman as the innate essence of each and all life and substratum. Advaita suffuses entire universe and beyond.

Ghantakarna bore the brunt of bigotry
Ghantakarna was overzealous in worshipping Lord Shiva while he hated all other deities. One day Shiva himself appeared before him and reproached him for hating other gods. But yet, Ghantakarna remained inexorable and continued his erstwhile fanaticism. Lord Shiva planned to give him a lesson and appeared before Ghantakarna with the makeover of Hari-Hara who had one-half of Vishnu while the other half was of Shiva. On seeing this incarnate, Ghantakarna showed mixed feelings. He was pleased to see the makeover of Shiva but the sight of Vishnu on the flipside repulsed him. He remained importunate as usual and laid offerings on the side representing Shiva and cold-shouldered the other side. While offering burning incense to Shiva, he pressed his fingers to close the nostrils of Vishnu to prevent him smelling the incense offered on Shiva?s side. This audacious act infuriated Shiva who chastised him ? ?Your dogged bigotry is unpardonable. By assuming my present form I tried to convince you of oneness of all gods and goddesses and their various manifestations. But still you remained obstinate in your stand and now you will have to ever suffer and repent for this fanaticism.?

The jilted devotee turned away and settled down in a village. With time his aversion towards Lord Vishnu kept growing. It then so happened that the children of the village came to know about his quirky temperament. They felt amused and began teasing him by uttering the name of Vishnu near him. Ghantakarna felt utterly badgered. To ward off hearing the sound of Vishnu, he hung two bells on his both ears. The moment village boys would yell out the name of Vishnu, he would ring the bells to prevent the name of Vishnu entering his ears. Thus he earned the name of Ghantakarna that is bell-eared and forever bore the agony out of his fanaticism.

Advaita is all pervasive
A Guru expounded the exalted doctrine of Advaita to a King who was his disciple. Advaita puts down that the entire universe is Brahman. The king felt very pleased after knowing this doctrine. Retiring to his palace he informed the queen: ?There is no distinction between the queen and the queen?s maid-servant. So, henceforth the erstwhile maid-servant shall be my queen.? The queen was flabbergasted to hear her Lord?s arcane decree. She sent for the Guru who had advocated this doctrine of Advaita to him and implored ??Guruji, look at the result of your concocted teaching upon my Lord? and told him all what had transpired upon her. The Guruji assured her and asked her to serve a potful of cow-dung along with a dish of rice while serving dinner to the king. At dinner time Guruji joined the king and sat down together to eat. The king flew into a rage on discovering a dish of cow-dung served to him. The guru calmly questioned him: ?Your Highness, you are well-versed in the knowledge of Advaita. Why do you then see any distinction between this dung and this rice?? The king became exasperated and shot back??If you pride yourself to be such a great Advaitian, devour this bovine excrement to prove your stand?. The guru complied to do so. He at once changed himself into a swine and devoured the cow-dung with a great gusto. Subsequently Guruji assumed his human shape. The king felt sheepish and never sauntered to make the inane indecent proposal to his queen ever again.

(The writer is reachable at

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