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Archive for May, 2009

When Swami Vivekananda returned to India, he talked to his brother disciples, giving a new expression to the ideals for which Sri Ramakrishna had stood. It is not enough, he said, to devote your entire life to the realization of God for yourself alone. You must also live “For the Good of all, for the happiness of all.”

Swamijee wished his brothers to combine the contemplative life, with the life of service to mankind. Swami Brahmananda was the first to recognise the depth and the scope of Swamijee’s ideals and gave them his full support. On 1st May 1897, Swamijee called a meeting of the monastic and lay disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. At this meeting, the organization known as the Ramakrishna Mission was formed. Swami Brahmananda was elected president of the Calcutta Centre. Before Swamijee’s passing away, Swami Brahmananda was made head of the Order and he held that office for more than twenty years, until his own death. During his lifetime the Mission and its ideals grew from strength to a Gigantic Banyan tree, that shelters Millions of God seeking souls and gives solace to all.

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PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING

Maharaj kept a watchful eye on the progress of each member of the order. He turned everyones heart continually towards God, and directed all the members actions and the activities of the mission toward the integrating of that inner strength, which alone can benefit mankind physically, morally and spiritually.

When young men of varied temperaments live together, it is only natural that misunderstandings will arise from time to time, no matter how high their common ideal may be. In one of the monastries connected with a home service, there were a number of untrained members. They had arrived from school and colleges. When they had been a while together, their old tendencies began to reassert themselves. They formed rival groups and started to quarrel. A senior swami of the mission wrote to Swami Brahmananda, telling him the boys were unfit for monastic life.

Maharaj gave them instructions, that all boys should meditate regularly in his presence. Then he began to instruct them, making no distinction between the good and the bad. Gradually the whole atmosphere of the place improved. The boys forgot their quarrels because they no longer had any time for them. And, when Maharaj left, two or three months later, perfect harmony had been restored in the monastry. All the boys had become better and more spiritual.
med

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DEVOTION

A young disciple of Swami Vivekananda, was so inspired by his ideals of renunciation and service, devoted himself to nursing the sick and helping poor people. From a very humble beginning , his work grew into a huge organization. For many years this disciple was the head of one of the largest homes of service in India under the Ramakrishna Mission. But when Maharaj saw that his work was becoming more important to him than his spiritual life, he relieved him of the post, inspired him with the ideal of realizing God, and sent him away to live a life of exclusive meditation.

To quote Maharaj again: Yes, you must work. But I insist that you devote yourselves to spiritual practices and meditation. Even though, I may not ask you to work, your nature will force you to work. It is difficult to engage the mind in contemplation of God, but you are monks , therefore work must not be the sole purpose of your lives.
vIVEKA

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Cravings

Maharaj wrote the following letter to Balaram from Brindavan:

“Who can fathom the workings of God? Who could know His Divine play? Man is subject to happiness and misery as long as his bound to karma. This is the lot of every man – whether he is learned or ignorant, good or wicked. Rare indeed is he who has attained unalloyed bliss! Only that man who is free from all cravings can find unending joy.

There is more misery than happiness in this world. Most people live in misery. God the Father is loving and kind. Who can explain why His children suffer? Man suffers because of his ignorance. This ignorance is his sense ego. When a man is free from egoism, surrendering his life at the Feet of the Lord, then he is blessed indeed. That man alone is happy.

I pray to the Lord that I may be completely freed from consciousness of the physical world. Bless me that may remain absorbed in the Lotus Feet of the Guru – that is the one desire of my heart.”

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Brotherly love

When Swami Vivekananda returned from the west, Swami Brahmananda welcomed his brother, placing a garland of flowers around his neck. Swamijee in turn touched the feet of Maharaj, quoting a saying from the scriptures: “The son of a guru is to be regarded as the guru himself.”
(meaning that Swami Brahmananda was the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna.)
Smilingly sweetly Maharaj touched Swamijee’s feet and returned the compliment with another quotation: “Ones elder brother is to be respected like one’s father.”

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Image worship

Naren (Swami Vivekananda) met Sri Ramakrishna about six months after Rakhals arrival.  Rakhal and Naren were happy to be together at the Feet of their Master.  But one day Naren was shocked when he saw Rakhal follow Sri Ramakrishna into the temple of Mother Kali and prostrate before the image.  He remembered how Rakhal had signed the pledge of the Brahmo Samaj, promising not to worship images or forms of God.  At the first opportunity, Naren reminded Rakhal of his promise and reproached him bitterly for indulging in image worship.  Rakhal was silent.  How could he ever make Naren understand what he had experienced through the Master’s Grace?  Yet, he could not argue the matter.

So for a few days Rakhal avoided Naren, and Naren could not speak to Rakhal.  Sri Ramakrishna noticed this, and when he learned the reason for the quarrel, Master talked affectionately to Naren and made him realize that Rakhal was not responsible for the change in his attitude towards images. After that the boys became friends again.

The Master, however felt Rakhal had a duty to his wife, and told him to visit from time to time.

Rakhal obeyed. Gradually his visits became longer.  Finally Rakhal came to the Master and sought His advice. Master listened, but did NOT tell Rakhal which part to choose.  With a heavy heart Rakhal went back to his wife and silently prayed to Master to show him the way. Rakhal prayed for three days unceasingly. Suddenly a veil was removed from his sight and he saw the divine maya – ( the play of the Divine Mother). He knew now what path to choose.  He and his wife were not to be tied by the ties of marriage.  He had a great mission to fulfil. He was certain, now that his wife would be taken of, and so strangely enough, she also felt full of peace.

So taking leave of his wife, he went straight back to Daksineshwar.  The Master knew exactly what had happened.  Silently, smiling, HE WELCOMED HOME HIS BELOVED SPIRITUAL SON!!

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