A short talk by
Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari
(Click image to enlarge)
|Om welcome, Om welcome, Om welcome!
Today is the birthday of Sri Ramakrishna. It is a great holy day. Here at Ananda Ashram are a number of devotees, and Premananda, Yogananda, Nityananda.
Today it is fitting to remember Sri Ramakrishna, to worship him. His "immortal words" (Kathamrita) are a very great thing. Sri Ramakrishna! Sri Ramakrishna! Sri Ramakrishna! Priceless jewel! You cant put any price on it. There is no limit to its greatness.
This great man of ours, Yuga Avatar Ramakrishna, has given immortal nectar by his darshan. Drinking that immortal nectar, the universeIm not saying only India but Amer ica, London, Russia, Germany, Japan, Poland, Hawaii, and all there other countrieseveryone is swimming in that nectar. Some have dived into it, some have drunk of it, and others see Ramakrishna all the time. Thus their lives are blessed.
Today is a great day, the greatest day. All these days are going by, day after day is passing by, yet who really has peace of mind? That which is called Brahma, or consciousness, or Prem.
Prem Kalpataru Sri Ramakrishna!
Ramakrishna, how worthy was his life! Even now he is still with us, he is walking around, he is deathless. It seems to the eyes of ordinary people that Ramakrishna Parama hansa has given up his body. But no, this is "maya" talk. Truly he is still alive.
Why? As when the light shines, the darkness is removed, so by the light of his compassionate grace, his immortal nec tar-like message, the words of truth, by all these things millions of people have become madly intoxicated. Sri Ramakrishna, throughout his whole life, in what a beautiful way he spent his life! Again and again he used to laugh and say: "I am but a fool. I am a fool!"
Swamijis original name was Naren. How many times Naren tested him! How many times he hurt him. And yet if Naren didnt come Thakur would worry and suffer. In the same way that this American, Premananda, is testing me, or will test. Truly this has been his work. Until one takes the gold in ones own hands, to look at and see whether it is actually real or not, until then one cannot make use of it. So someone says it is "gold," does that make it real! Ah! But when it is given to a goldsmith ...
Then one day Ramakrishna said laughing to Sri Ma, "Oh Ma, you have been wanting to wear a golden tulsi leaf bangle, havent you?" The gold was called "bangle." Then again, when it is made into an earring, it is not called "gold," it is called "earring." And again, it is a necklace or a bracelet for the handtruly, from gold a lot of different names are born.
It is true that he was born in India, but he has taken birth all over the whole world. Why? Because everyone loves him so much. It can be seen that in an ordinary household a father loves his son. He also loves his mother, and all his children as well. And yet as we are seeing right now, does he not love Ramakrishna as well? In this whole world, people who have not drunk of Ramakrishnas name are very rare.
"Whole Area." So I am unlearned. I am also that kind of really unlearned fool.
Today in Ramanathpur Ananda Ashram, in front of all the Ramanathpur devotees, I pranam that great man, that Yuga Ava tar Ramakrishna a thousand times. This compassionate one, truly worthy to be remembered, this great man Sri Sri Ramak rishna, to him I bow down.
You know, I have no power to give a speech. I am com pletely ignorant. I havent studied any shastras. I cant speak any languages very well. Just by feeling this little bit, by his blessing, this bit ..
On this day, the first day of our Chaitra month, today I bow down to Ramakrishna, most venerable Lord, guru of the world. Oh great one! Man-filled-with-light! Hey Paramahansa! Hey knower of Brahman, hey wish-fulfilling tree, oh light filled moon: remove this darkness from the "whole area." He has, in his own body, given everything away.
And sometimes he used to say to Mathur Babu, "I am so very poor, very destitute, give me a little bit, I want to help the very, very poor" Ah-ha! He used to give them the very clothes off his own body! If he saw a need, from his own body he used to give. Rich devotees would give him shawls, good blankets, very good things, and right away he would help the poor in their need.
Swamiji also said, "Where is our God? Where is the Lord? In mens hearts! Those who love mankind, it is they who truly love God." Sheva-dharma. Service is true religion. Today in America, people from house to house, taking Sri Sri Ramak rishnas picture, or Swamijis picture to their breast, have become intoxicated. It is a true saying that under the lan tern there is darkness. The light is revealed at a distance. We live, no doubt, right near the Ganges, but we hardly ever take a bath in it. This is caused by our ignorance.
So he is the Wish Fulfilling Tree. From age to age he is here and will remain. Ordinary men give up their bodies and die, but he was not an ordinary man. He was high. His every single word was immortal. Just as if one drinks "Amrita," one becomes deathless, so those who have drunk his immortal words, they also become deathless, they are alive.
So I have spoken this unlearned speech, but one must feel it within. His message was "Tyag-Dharma," the religion of renunciation. Tyag-Dharma is our one and only means. Prem.
He said to Naren, "Naren! why dont you sing a song? I want to hear one."
Naren said, "Oh! You have a great fancy! You always want to hear songs, dont you? My stomach is on fire, I am whipped by sorrow, I have become so oppressed, and still I have to sing a song for you?"
"Oh?" said Thakur. "You have become sad? You are in need? Why dont you go to Ma? Bishwajanani, Ma Jagadhama, go to Bhavatarini and tell her. Your sorrow will be removed."
Swamiji answered, "You go and tell her on my behalf."
"Naren, Naren, you go and tell her, Bhavatarini, she who ferries us across this world of illusion. Go now, go once and tell her."
Swamiji, obedient to Thakurs order, went to the temple of Bhavatarini. But he forgot about his terrible poverty. He only asked Her: "Ma! Give me love, give me devotion, give me pure knowledge. May the whole world be blessed. May the whole world be at peace." Ah! What a beautiful feeling!
When he came back, Thakur asked him, "Well Naren, what did you get from Mother?" "Oh Thakur! I forgot! I forgot about the sorrow at home!" "Okay," said Thakur, "you go again tomorrow."
Day by day, three days later Swamiji said, "Thakur, its no use. It wont work by me. I couldnt want my own happiness any more. This whole world is crying at the whiplashings of poverty. For that I am praying to Bhavatarini."
On this, Ramakrishnas birthday, I have spoken this very little bit. But I am a fool. I dont know how to give speeches. Yet I spoke anyway, to Premananda, Yogananda, and Nityananda, three boys.
Sivaratri day was Premanandas initiation day, the day he had gotten diksha. For a month, in great suffering, much sor row, by many paths, through many obstacles they have come here. On Sivaratri day. Our Sivaratri is a very great night. Wakeful. So they arrived. Mothers grace is like this. I saw the serious illness of the tree. "Diarrhoea." Vomiting blood! What hardship! This is called Prem. "Guru-God, God-Guru!" To get the darshan of guru. It said in Premanandas letter: "I dont have much money. We will go by land, by train, by bus." This great weariness, by so many paths, so many steps, coming by walking, not getting food, no time for getting rest, in this way they have come.
For this reason today I pray to Sri Ramakrishna, Wish Fulfilling Tree, Sri Sri Ramakrishna, "Hey Kalpataru! Hey Yuga Avatar! Thakur! Hey Gem of Love! Please, sitting right within them, grant them Light."
He has already done something. If he hadnt, would this feeling have dawned in them? They are young boys. Where is any entertainment, where is any cinema, where will they get any luxury or enjoyments here? Everything is given up. Ah! What religion, what high feeling. See what great renuncia tion! What tired paths, what suffering they got. This is religion. And where is ours? Surrendering the mind and body -- this is religion.
Enough. Today I have finished here. For the peace and benefit of the whole universe, the whole area, whole Asia, whole world, for that, bowing down to Sri Ramakrishna thou sands of times, I end my speech.