Seeing God in All
Hazra and Mahima were two devotees known for their pretentiousness of being scholars. They loved to indulge in dry, philosophical discussions. They cherished an exaggerated notion of their own spiritual advancement. Hazra practised japa with apparent concentration. But, with all that, he had a soft corner in his heart for material things and people's attention. Therefore along with his spiritual discipline he carried on the business of a broker. He was hyper critical of others and admonished Sri Ramakrishna for forgetting God and worrying about his young disciples. Greatly worried, the simple, guileless child of the Mother prayed to Her to resolve his doubt. The Mother revealed to him in a flash that is was She who had become all men. But She revealed Herself most clearly through a pure soul. How pure his young disciples were, unstained by the slightest touch of worldliness. Even from their childhood they longed for God.
Mahimacharan claimed to have been initiated by Totapuri and that he was a follower of the path of Knowledge. He showed off his scholarship by indulging in loud arguments about scriptural texts. He intended to lead a spiritual life, but a strong desire for name and fame was his weakness. He could recite well from the Vedas and other scriptures, and Sri Ramakrishna enjoyed his recitations. Once Mahima recited the following verse from the Uttara Gita:
"The twice-born worships the Deity in fire,
The munis contemplate Him in the heart,
Men of limited wisdom see Him in the image,
And the yogis who have attained same sightedness,
Behold Him everywhere"
No sooner did the Master hear the words 'the yogis
who have attained same sighted-
ness' than he went into samadhi. Speechless, the devotees looked at this yogi who had him-
self attained the state of same sightedness (Seeing God in all). It was Mahima who glibly recited the words of the scriptures, but it was Sri Ramakrishna who embodied them in his life-'the living flaming Upanishad,' as Swami Premananda said.
Looking upon the poor people as God (Seeing God in all), who came to take Prasada at Dakshineshwar, once Sri Ramakrishna ate a little of the remains of the food left in their plates. According to the strict caste distinctions at that time, the Brahmins would lose their caste by eating food left or touched by people from lower caste. Thereupon Haladhari asked him why he had done such an unscriptural action. How would he marry his children? Intensely irritated by those words of Haladhari, going contrary to his professed admiration for Vedantic knowledge, Sri Ramakrishna said,
"You, rascal! Don't you yourself say that the Shastras enjoin us to look upon all beings as Brahman and the world as unreal? Do you think that I shall say like you that the world is unreal and at the same time beget children? Fie on your Shastric knowledge!"
To be continued
About the author
Sudesh, a devotee from Ambala, regularly contributes inspiring articles to 'The Vedanta Kesari'. This article is a continuation of a series of articles regarding the behaviour of seekers who are engaged in dry scriptural scholarship without living the underlying truth. Sri Ramakrishna's God consciousness was total that the attitude of seeing God in all was only too natural for Him.