Wednesday, September 26, 2007

#079 , Granted that Ramakrishna was a sham

Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) was a brother disciple of Vivekananda. Both were sitting at the feet of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa wherever he went, though Ramakrishna seemed to have preferred Vivekananda (Narendra) to Rakhal as he believed that Narendra was more learned. He was the first head of the Ramakrishna Math at Belur. His samadhi can also be found in Belur Math.

Though Brahmananda revered Ramakrishna very much, he appears to have nursed a few rays of doubts about the Guru Deva. When some people were calling Ramakrishna a sham, he too seemed to have expressed such doubt to Vivekananda in a letter. This can be seen from Vivekananda's reply to Brahmananda.

Swami Vivekananda wrote to Swami Brahmananda from England on Oct. 4, 1895.

" ... Sir, granted that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a sham, granted that it has been a very serious mistake, indeed, to take refuge in him, but what is the way out now? What if one life is spent in vain, but shall a man eat his own words? Can there be such a thing as having a dozen husbands? Any of you may join any party you like, I have no objection, no, not in the least, but travelling this world over I find that save and except his circle alone, everywhere else thought and act are at variance. For those that belong to him, I have the utmost love, the utmost confidence. I have no alternative in the matter. Call me one-sided if you will, but there you have my bona fide avowal. If but a thorn pricks the foot of one who has surrendered himself to Shri Ramakrishna, it makes my bones ache. All others I love; you will find very few men so unsectarian as I am; but you must excuse me, I have that bit of bigotry. If I do not appeal to his name, whose else shall I? It will be time enough to seek for a big Guru in our next birth; but in this, it is that unlearned Brahmin who has bought this body of mine for ever.

I give you a bit of my mind; don't be angry, pray. I am your slave so long as you are his — step a hair's breadth outside that, and you and I are on a par. All the sects and societies that you see, the whole host of them, inside the country or out, he has already swallowed them all, my brother. ..."

1)Why did Rakhal write that Ramakrishna was a shame?
2) How did Vivekananda find that save and except that his circle (Ramakrishna's circle) alone, Vivekananda found that thought and action were in variance. (For clarity I summarise: Ramakrishna alone has harmony between his words and actions.)

Observations: Vivekananda compares searching for a new Guru to getting multiple husbands. He is even prepared to accept charges of bigotry and being a sectarian. He blindly believed that Ramakrishna swallowed every other sect. (Yet he removed the photo of Shri Ramakrishna in the house of Mr. Savier). He preached meditation, yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, gnaana yoga, vedanta in the West. Very rarely he spread what his Guru Deva Shri Ramakrishna said in his gospels.

The same year 1895 (Month and date not available), he struck a different chord, and wrote to Ramakrishnanda, his brother-disciple working at Madras (Chennai).

" ... I am quite in agreement with what Sarada is doing, but it is not necessary to preach that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was an Incarnation, and things of that sort. He came to do good to the world; not to trumpet his own name — you must always remember this. Disciples pay their whole attention to the preservation of their master's name and throw overboard his teachings; and sectarianism etc., are the result. ..."

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