A devotional story
Edited by Dada Acarya Cidrupananda Avt.
"BABA narrated me the story of Rámakrsna ( Rámakrisna) Paramahansa Deva and Keshav Candra (Chandra) Sen"
One day Beloved BABA sent me to a photographer's studio at Baliganj ( Kolkata, India) to see one of the original photos of Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva in divine ecstasy. There were many photos of Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva . But BABA indicated me to see the particular one. BABA said that from this particular photo positive microvita are coming out constantly. Then BABA narrated a beautiful story on Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva. BABA narrated many stories on Him, this is one of the stories. Whenever BABA mentioned the name of Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva or any other Great Divine expressions like Caetanya Mahaprabhu (Chaitanya), BABA used to fold HIS hand in Namaskar mudra and salute them.
Wisdom is a space without any ripples of questions and answers - neither knowledge nor ignorance but a pure silence, innocence. This is the state of the Awakened One, the Enlightened One.
No, nobody needs to know the question and nobody needs to know the answer either. Everybody needs to know oneself. And that revelation of oneself, that realization of oneself comes only when there are no questions, no answers... just a pure sky without any clouds, an utter peace that surpasses understanding.
This is the definition of the authentic seer, the true Mystic: one who knows without knowledge, who is as ignorant as a small child - whose ignorance is innocence, whose knowing is innocence.
Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva lived just in the last part of the nineteenth century... such an innocent being. And one of the very learned men, a great scholar - perhaps the greatest scholar of those days - was Keshav Chandra Sen. They both lived very close; Keshav Chandra lived in Calcutta and Ramakrishna lived outside Calcutta by the side of the river Ganges, as a priest in a small temple in Dakshineshwar.
Keshav Chandra was respected all over the country for his wisdom, for his knowledge, for his tremendous rationality, intellectuality, authority over scriptures and his logical acumen. People from all over the country used to come to sit at his feet.
But slowly, slowly he became very puzzled: the people who had been listening to him for years started going to Dakshineshwar to sit at the feet of Ramakrishna, who was uneducated, who had no knowledge of any scripture, who could not be called in any sense a man of knowledge. He could not argue, could not convince anybody about anything.
But what was happening? Keshav Chandra was puzzled that the people who had been with him for years were slowly disappearing from his gatherings and going to the gatherings of Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva. And whatever information he had collected about Rámakrsna simply showed him that Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva seems to be half mad - suddenly He used to start dancing, singing; just listening to a beautiful song, He used to go into samádhi. For hours, He used to get lost somewhere; none could even wake Him up, He used to go so deep into Himself. It was not ordinary sleep; it was almost like a coma.
Once He remained in such a state for six days continuously. Every effort was made to wake Him up, but all efforts failed. And finally when He awoke, the first thing He said, with tears in His eyes, was… ”Why have you people forced me to wake up? I was enjoying myself so deeply, and you go on pulling me to the outside world, where there is nothing. I have known everything; I have experienced everything and found that it cannot give me lasting peace or eternal bliss or the realization of my own self. So, whenever I go inside myself, please, don't disturb me.” Naturally his followers became very much concerned; six days is too long period...
All the reports that reached to Keshav Chandra proved that this man was hysterical, whimsical, a crackpot. But the people who used to come to him were intellectuals, professors, well-versed in scriptures. Why have they moved towards Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva?
Finally, he had to decide to go and see that man. Not only to see, but to challenge Him to a debate. He informed Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva, “I am coming on such and such a date. Be ready, because I am going to challenge you to discuss with me matters of ultimate significance.” Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva laughed. He said, ”It will be really a great joy to meet Keshav Chandra. He is such an intellectual giant and he does not know whom he is challenging. But let him come, this is a good excuse. I will accept the challenge.”
His disciples said, “But this will be very humiliating. He will bring all his followers, and before all these people ... we know you cannot argue - you have never argued in your life.”
But what Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva said is something to be remembered forever. He said, “I don't argue because I am the argument. Just let him come. I don't know the scriptures; I don't need to know them. I know the truth - why should I bother about borrowed knowledge? I don't have any education, I don't know how to prove something or disprove something, but I don't need to know - my presence is the proof. Just let him come.”
The disciples were afraid because they could not understand that Keshav Chandra would accept his presence as an argument. And Keshav Chandra came. Ramakrishna hugged him - he was not expecting that Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva would come out of the temple and hug him - and took him inside. Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva said, “I am so grateful that you came, I have been waiting for so long. Whenever you feel like challenging me, you can come. Whenever you feel the urge to argue, you can come. I am always available, there is no need even to make any appointment; I am twenty-four hours in this temple. You can come day or night, any moment.” Keshav Chandra kept himself aloof, but found it was very difficult: this Man was so loving, his very vibe was so touching. And Rámakrsna said: “First, before you start your argument, for your welcome I will dance.” And He had His musicians there who started playing drums, and Rámakrsna started dancing .... Keshav Chandra could not believe it; his followers could not believe it. He had challenged many people, he had argued all over the country with great scholars and defeated them, but he had never seen such a Man, who was welcoming him with a dance. And the dance was so beautiful - it was not the dance of a technician, it was the dance of an overflowing love. It was not formal, the welcome was not just etiquette; even Keshav Chandra could feel that the Man was authentic. After the dance Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva said, ”Now you can start.” And Keshav Chandra said, “First I want you to prove the existence of God.” Ramakrishna laughed. He said, “The existence of God? You are the proof. Otherwise from where does such great intelligence come? It must be coming from existence, and if existence can produce Keshav Chandra that means existence is not unconscious, is not unintelligent. That's all we mean by God: that existence is not only matter. You are the proof. It is strange that you are asking for the proof and you don't know that you are the proof. I can bring anybody before you as a proof that existence is intelligent. That's all we mean by God: that existence is not without consciousness.”
Keshav Chandra's followers could not believe that they had seen Keshav Chandra in shock for the first time. He was silent; he could not find what to say. And Rámakrsna's disciples were also in a shock. They said, “My God, we used to think: ‘How is this poor fellow going to argue?' But he has silenced him without much trouble; no scripture has been quoted - nothing. Keshav Chandra himself has made the argument against himself.”
And each time Keshav Chandra said something Rámakrsna would clap - just like a child. And he was saying things against Him! The disciples thought, “Keshav Chandra will think Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva is insane. He will not be able to understand: ‘I am arguing against him, and he is clapping with joy?'” And just in the middle Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva stood up and hugged him again and said: ”That was really a beautiful point. I loved it, you go on.” His joy, His love, His unruffled calm became His victory, without any argument. Keshav Chandra fell at His feet and said, “Just forgive me, I have had very wrong notions about you.” Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva said, “What are you doing? You are a man of knowledge, I am an ignorant man - so ignorant, so uneducated, I cannot even sign my own name. I know myself but I cannot sign my own name, I cannot read anything. What are you doing?”
And Keshav Chandra became one of the great lovers of Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva. And Rámakrsna had no answer for any question, nor did He have any question. But Rámakrsna Paramahansa Deva's innocence touched many people and transformed many people. Just His Love was a great alchemical process.