Divine Life of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Chapter VII

  • Sri Ramakrishna’s Spiritual Sadhana – Part III
  • Arrival of Totapuri in Dakshineswar
  • Asking Mother’s Permission
  • Initiation Into Advaita
  • The Practise of Islam

Arrival of Totapuri in Dakshineswar

Sri Ramakrishna had by now practised all the different phases of devotion laid down in the scriptures of Bhakti, namely, Shanta (the placid attitude of mind towards Divinity),  Dasya (the relation of servant to master), Sakhya (the attitude of friendship), Vatsalya (the relation of parent and child), and Madhura (the highest relation between two lovers), and realized the same goal through each one of them.

His spiritual experience, hitherto gathered, had many forms. He would commune with invisible beings, forms of the Divinity or Divine Incarnations of the past. Such visions, however, belong to the domain of personality, which is not the last word in spiritual experiences. He was yet to reach a state where knowledge, knower, and known became one indivisible Consciousness.

The soul, after a final struggle leaps over the last barrier of relative existence, shatters its prison of matter, and merges in the infinite glory of Brahman. This is called the Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest flight of Advaita philosophy. This is the crowning glory of man’s spiritual exercises, the last word in his evolution. Then there is no more birth, no more death, nor any further identification with the changes of the body. He leaves behind all the modifications of relativity like a cast-off garment. He realizes his identity with the Eternal Brahman, the One without a second. There is no doubt Sri Ramakrishna was the fittest person to realize this state. The field was ready, ploughed, and waited only for the sowing of the seed.

At this time there came to the garden of Dakshineswar a wonderful monk, ‘Totapuri’ by name. He was a Punjabi by birth and had renounced the world while quite young. He had been initiated into monkhood by a yogi who was the head of a monastery of the Naga sect at Ludhiana in Punjab. It is said that he practised sadhana in a secluded forest on the banks of the sacred Narmada and attained  the Nirvikalpa Samadhi state after rigid discipline extending over forty years. After the passing away of his Guru, Totapuri took over as the head of the monastery.

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