Question: Does an avatar sleep?
Maharaj: One day, after waking from sleep, Sri Ramakrishna, said, ‘I saw a gourd flower in a dream.’ At once Master Mahasaya was ready to go to the market to buy that flower. But Sri Ramakrishna said, ‘Oh no, you won’t have to bring it.’ Sri Ramakrishna too would go into deep sleep just as we do. But there’s a difference. In his case the sheath of deep sleep was of his own making; he could cover himself or cast it off as he wished. But we cannot do that. Furthermore, in deep sleep he would go back to his true identity, whereas our true identity remains veiled. This is the strangest thing about the avatara leela: even while sporting as an avatar, he remains PurnaBrahman. This great truth has been expressed in the Bhagavatam: ’As many gopis, so many Krishnas.’
The Vaishnavites popularised the idea of pure devotion through Hari-nama. This is a sublime ideal which they expressed in a form suitable for the masses. The Brahmins who are knowers of scriptures changed this by delving into the philosophy of Shakti and Tantra. They invigorated the country by popularising the Chandi, Ramprasadi and Agamani songs. This is a method where devotion is mixed with knowledge; it is very helpful for us.
The religion of the masses is very good, provided its followers don’t mingle with others. Your guru may tell you, ‘He who doesn’t worship Krishna will go to hell.’ Very good! Believe in this and practise it quietly. But if you mix with people holding other views, then you will be in trouble.
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The Order on the March
News & Notes from Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission
Reminiscences of Sargachhi
(Continued from previous issue. . .) Swami Premeshananda (1884 – 1967) was a disciple of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi. For over two decades he lived at Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Sargachhi, West Bengal. Under his inspiration countless people led a life of spirituality and service, and many young men and women entered into monastic life. His conversations – translated from Bengali and presented below – were noted by his attendant who is now Srimat Swami Suhitananda Ji, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order.
The Three Gunas
Under the spell of God’s maya man forgets his true nature. He forgets that he is heir to the infinite glories of his Father. This divine maya is made up of three gunas.
The Story of Periaazhvaar
Srimat Swami Tapasyananda Ji (1904 – 1991) was one of the Vice-Presidents of the Ramakrishna Order. His deeply convincing answers to devotees’ questions raised in spiritual retreats and in personal letters have been published in book form as Spiritual Quest: Questions & Answers. Pariprasna is a selection from this book.
This is the ninth story in the series on devotees who had a role in the divine play of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna.
Naren Worships Mother Ganga
A fictional narrative based on incidents from the childhood of Swami Vivekananda.
The Katha Upanishad states, “Arise, awake, and learn by approaching the excellent ones. The wise ones describe that path to be as impassable as a razor’s edge, which when sharpened, is difficult to tread.”1
Swami Shivananda: A Living Light
(Continued from the previous issue...) In this article, Swami Shraddhanandaji reminiscences about his interaction with Swami Shivananda, one of the direct-disciples of Sri Ramakrishna and the 2nd President of the Ramakrishna Order. From 1957, Shraddhanandaji served in the American centres of San Francisco and Sacramento until his mahasamadhi in July 1996. This article was sent to The Vedanta Kesari by Lali Maly, a devotee of Vedanta Society of Sacramento, USA.
Shiva: Interval Between Enjoyment And Its Negation
Swami Nityabodhanandaji was a disciple of Swami Shivanandaji, the second President of the Ramakrishna Order. He was editor of The Vedanta Kesari, from 1942-1948 and later for three decades he was the head of Geneva centre of the Ramakrishna Order in Switzerland. This article is reproduced from the March 1968 issue of Prabuddha Bharata.
THE White KNIGHTS OF Rewa
Tigers are luminous beings, and white tigers are the brightest of them all. PUSHPRAJ SINGH —the current Maharaja of Rewa—recounts an extraordinary legacy
Preserving a Legacy
In her new coffee-table book, Textiles of Rajasthan: At the Jaipur Court, noted academician, author and researcher Vandana Bhandari takes readers back in time to acquaint them with Rajasthan’s rich spread of textiles and time-honoured techniques to produce them.
योगी ने बहराइच व महाराजगंज जिलों में करोड़ों रुपये की विकास परियोजनाओं का लोकार्पण, शिलान्यास किया
उत्तर प्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री योगी आदित्यनाथ ने शनिवार को बहराइच और महराजगंज जिले में करोड़ों रुपये की विकास परियोजनाओं का लोकार्पण तथा शिलान्यास किया।
THE CZAR OF SCARS
Arjun Raj Gaind’s The Anatomy of Scars is written in the first person. It starts just as the tumultuous events of 1984 roll out—Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi’s assassination and the mindless horror of the anti-Sikh riots. The protagonist is a young Sikh boy. We witness those heart-searing events through his eyes, then follow him through the years of his own personal tumult. The author speaks to India today:
इतिहास वो नहीं जो गुलामी की मानसिकता रखने वालों ने लिखा
योगी सरकार के कार्यों की जम कर तारीफ करते हुए प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा
The Devil You Know
Maharaj the maniac returns from the dead. But Nirupa notices something different about the man she fears with her life.
FROM THE ROYAL COOKBOOK
Rewa in Madhya Pradesh used to be a hunting ground for maharajas, but few were privy to its recipes involving game meat. As the royal cuisine adapts to the times, GEETIKA SACHDEV samples its flavourful offerings.
ODE TO Legacy
In an exclusive for Bazaar, couturier Raghavendra Rathore takes us on a journey through the lanes of his beloved Jodhpur...and opens the doors to his home and heritage hotel, Ajit Bhawan Palace
Madhya Pradesh is a frontrunner among three states in the hunt to host the cheetah when it is reintroduced to India’s wilds
What's Love Got To Do With It?
Tina Turner’s famous song could well illustrate the unsettling phenomenon taking place in UP, Haryana, MP and Karnataka where girls are lured by Muslim men. The states are now thinking of a law against it