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Remembering Vivekananda, I recollect Swami Ramakrishna - Part II
Mother Kali and Ramakrishna!
Gadadhar comes to Dakshineshwar!
Gadadhar learned many things by seeing elders and wandering sadhus. From a potter, he learned the art of making the forms of God. At the age of nine or so he was initiated with thread ceremony. The boy is entitled to worship the forms of god and he learned to chant the powerful Gayathri. In fact, Gadadhar was a highly evolved soul and he had come to illumine the minds of people who are steeped in earthly life. He slowly made them to realize that all this is ephemeral and nothing will last. We have come into the world to learn the highest wisdom which will lead us to God! Though Gadadhar's family was leading a hand to mouth existence, they preserved the cultural ethos and spiritual vibrations. This had a great effect on the young mind of Gadadhar.
He was loved by one and all due to his feminine qualities. He was tender in mind and behavior. He used to sing beautiful songs on deities. As I have already pointed out, he had a bent of mind which attracted him to natural surroundings. He will often go to a mango groove nearby and contemplate on nature and God. Once he was moving through a paddy field. The sky was overcast. The dark blue clouds slowly attracted him. He was munching parched rice. Suddenly some white birds crossed the dark clouds. The contrast of the scenery made him spellbound and he lost his conscious and fell down. Some passers by lifted him from the field and brought him to his house. Naturally the parents were worried. But really he was immersed in deep Bliss! Slowly he came to his senses and told his friends that he was in deep ecstasy after seeing the contrasts in nature.
Unfortunately, Gadadhar's father passed away when Gadadhar was hardly a young boy. This affected him profoundly. He started spending more time with his mother, helping her in her cores of the kitchen etc., His elder brother Ramkumar was practicing rituals and hence he could earn a little by performing ritualistic worship in the village in several houses. One day his elder brother thought of moving to Calcutta in search of a better fortune since his native village lacked the facilities. He moved to Calcutta and after sometime, he took Gadadhar with him to help performing rituals in a temple of Kali. This famous Kali temple was constructed by one Rani Rasamani who owned lot of properties and estates. But she was benign and helped many. She was spiritually oriented. She had purchased twenty acres of land near Calcutta in Dakshineshwar. She planned and constructed beautiful temples of Lord Shiva, Radhakantha and mother Kali. In West Bengal, the worship of Kali is prominent. During the Dassara festival, all the people thronged to the temple of Durga and Kali(both are one). She appointed Ramkumar, the brother of Gadadhar for the worship of mother.
But Gadadhar did not like the fact that a Sudra woman constructed the temples. Hence he had no inclination to go to Calcutta to assist his brother in the ritualistic worship of Mother Kali. He felt that the offerings should be prepared by Brahmin and offered in the temple. Somehow due to tradition, he could not come to terms with the arrangements there. But in course of time, he learned to remove those false ideas of caste etc., when he was deeply immersed in the thought of worship. One Madhur Babu, who was the son in law of Rani managed the temple affairs. He was fond of the boy Gadadhar. He felt there is something elevating in the persona of Gadadhar. Hence he requested him to assist Ramkumar in the worship of Mother Kali. There started a subtle devotional episode of Gadadhar. Rest in next part.