Remembering Vivekananda, I recollect Swami Ramakrishna! - Part III
Ramakrishna worships Mother Kali!
Ramakrishna worships Mother Kali!
Finally, Gadadhar has conceded to perform the rituals in the Kali temple. But his ways are unique. He will take hours to decorate the idol. Gadadhar considered the idol as full of Life and treated it as the Mother of the Universe. He used to converse with the idol. When the time for offering food to the deity comes, he will plead with the mother to take food as we request other humans. His brother too was not appreciative with the ways of worship. However he understood the purity of Gadadhar and hence he has not interfered. But the manager of the temple found fault with the ways of Gadadhar. Hence he complained to Madhur Babu about the obscure ways of worship of mother Kali by Gadadhar. But Madhur Babu was pure at heart. Hence he scolded the manager and asked him not to interfere with the worship conducted by Gadadhar.
Many saintly personalities visited the temple at those times. There was one Bairavi brahmani who was well versed in the ritualistic worship and mantra sastra. She was watching with amusement, the devotion of Gadadhar to mother Kali and the hours he spend with the idol, decorating it, clothing it and feeding it. She found the greatness of Ramakrishna (Gadadhar-henceforth we will call him Ramakrishna). As she was well versed in the ritualistic worship, she started teaching Ramakrishna, the nuances of mantra sastra and Ramakrishna too evinced interest in learning those ways.
One day, his elder brother too passed away abruptly. These intimate deaths plundered Ramakrishna in great grief. First he lost his father and now his elder brother. After sometime he returned to his village. He stayed there for a year or so. His mother thought that it is time to get his son married so that he will turn his attention to the family matters. Peculiarly, Ramakrishna never objected and it was seen that he was instrumental in selecting the bride. Sarada was just six years old and she was living in Jayaramvati. Everybody has accepted the proposal and Ramakrishna married Sarada on an auspicious day. Sarada was a pious girl with spiritual inclinations. She was merciful, full of devotion and possessed a very pure mind. But the custom in those days are, the bride will remain with her parents till she attain puberty. Afterwards, they will send the bride to bridegroom’s house.
After marriage, Ramakrishna returned to Dakshineshwar to continue his duties of worship of mother Kali. This time he had one of his nephews as an assistant whose name was Hruday. Hruday came to Calcutta for search of a job. He met his uncle Ramakrishna and stayed with him. It is Ramakrishna who told Madhur Babu to keep Hruday as his assistant in the temple. Thus Hruday become a constant shadow of Ramakrishna. He looked after Ramakrishna when he was deeply engaged in spiritual pursuits during leisure hours. The nature of Ramakrishna is very peculiar. He will cry before the idol of Kali to give him Dharsan. He knew that he can see the Mother of Universe by sincere prayers. At times, he acted like a mad man without caring for his personal upkeep. He won’t eat or drink for days together pining for seeing the Mother in person. It is Hruday who took care of Ramakrishna during those critical times. Even Madhur Babu thought that the young Ramakrishna is deranged in mind! Rest in next Part.