What Happens After Samadhi by Sri Ramakrishna

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What Happens After Samadhi

"After attaining samādhi, I once went to the Ganges to perform tarpan.  But as I took water in the palm of my hand, it trickled down through my fingers.  Weeping, I said to Haladhāri, 'Cousin, what is this?' Haladhāri replied, 'It is called galitahasta in the holy books.' After the vision of God, such duties as the performance of tarpan drop away.
"In the kirtan the devotee first sings, 'Nitai amar mata hati.' As the devotional mood deepens, he simply sings, 'Hati! Hati!' Next, all he can sing is 'Hati'.  And last of all he simply sings, 'Ha!' and goes into samādhi.  The man who has been singing all the while then becomes speechless.

"Again, at a feast given to the brahmins one at first hears much noise of talking.  When the guests sit on the floor with leaf-plates in front of them, much of the noise ceases.  Then one hears only the cry, 'Bring some luchi!'
As they partake of the luchi and other dishes, three quarters of the noise subsides.  When the curd, the last course, appears, one hears only the sound 'soop, soop' as the guests eat the curd with their fingers.  Then there is practically no noise.  Afterwards all retire to sleep, and absolute silence reigns.

"Therefore I say, at the beginning of religious life a man makes much ado about work, but as his mind dives deeper into God, he becomes less active.  Last of all comes the renunciation of work, followed by samādhi.

"Generally the body does not remain alive after the attainment of samādhi.  The only exceptions are such sages as Narada, who keep their bodies alive in order to bring spiritual light to others.  It is also true of Divine Incarnations, like Chaitanya.  After the well is dug, one generally throws away the spade and the basket.  But some keep them in order to help their neighbours.  The great souls who retain their bodies after samādhi feel compassion for the suffering of others.  They are not so selfish as to be satisfied with their own illumination.  You are well aware of the nature of selfish people.  If you ask them to spit at a particular place, they won't, lest it should do you good.  If you ask them to bring a sweetmeat worth a cent from the store, they will perhaps lick it on the way back.  (All laugh.)

"But the manifestations of Divine Power are different in different beings.  Ordinary souls are afraid to teach others.  A piece of worthless timber may itself somehow float across the water, but it sinks even under the weight of a bird.  Sages like Narada are like a heavy log of wood, which not only floats on the water but also can carry men, cows, and even elephants.

(To Shivanath and the other Brahmo devotees) "Can you tell me why you dwell so much on the powers and glories of God? I asked the same thing of Keshab Sen.  One day Keshab and his party came to the temple garden at Dakshineswar.  I told them I wanted to hear how they lectured.  A meeting was arranged in the paved courtyard above the bathing-ghat on the Ganges, where Keshab gave a talk.  He spoke very well.  I went into a trance.  After the lecture I said to Keshab, 'Why do you so often say such things as: "O God, what beautiful flowers Thou hast made! O God, Thou hast created the heavens, the stars, and the ocean!" and so on?' Those who love splendour themselves are fond of dwelling on God's splendour.

"Once a thief stole the jewels from the images in the temple of Radhakanta.  Mathur Babu entered the temple and said to the Deity: 'What a shame, O God! You couldn't save Your own ornaments.' 'The idea!' I said to Mathur.  'Does He who has Lakshmi for His handmaid and attendant ever lack any splendour? Those jewels may be precious to you, but to God they are no better than lumps of clay.  Shame on you! You shouldn't have spoken so meanly.  'What riches can you give to God to magnify His glory?'

"Therefore I say, a man seeks the person in whom he finds joy.  What need has he to ask where that person lives, the number of his houses, gardens, relatives, and servants, or the amount of his wealth? I forget everything when I see Narendra.  Never, even unwittingly, have I asked him where he lived, what his father's profession was, or the number of his brothers.

"Dive deep in the sweetness of God's Bliss.  What need have we of His infinite creation and unlimited glory?"

The Master sang:
Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God's Beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of Love.
Go seek, O mind, go seek Vrindāvan in your heart,
Where with His loving devotees
Sri Krishna sports eternally.
Light up, O mind, light up true wisdom's shining lamp,
And let it burn with steady flame
Unceasingly within your heart.
Who is it that steers your boat across the solid earth?
It is your guru, says Kubir;
Meditate on his holy feet.

Sri Ramakrishna continued: "It is also true that after the vision of God the devotee desires to witness His lila.  After the destruction of Ravana at Rama's hands, Nikasha, Ravana's mother, began to run away for fear of her life.  Lakshmana said to Rama: 'Revered Brother, please explain this strange thing to me.  This Nikasha is an old woman who has suffered a great deal from the loss of her many sons, and yet she is so afraid of losing her own life that she is taking to her heels!' Rama bade her come near, gave her assurance of safety, and asked her why she was running away.  Nikasha answered: 'O Rama, I am able to witness all this lila of Yours because I am still alive.  I want to live longer so that I may see the many more things You will do on this earth.' (All laugh.)

(To Shivanath) "I like to see you.  How can I live unless I see pure-souled devotees? I feel as if they had been my friends in a former incarnation."

Reincarnation of soul & Inscrutability of God's ways
A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, do you believe in the reincarnation of the soul?"
MASTER: "Yes, they say there is something like that.  How can we understand the ways of God through our small intellects? Many people have spoken about reincarnation; therefore I cannot disbelieve it.  As Bhishma lay dying on his bed of arrows, the Pandava brothers and Krishna stood around him.  They saw tears flowing from the eyes of the great hero.  Arjuna said to Krishna: 'Friend, how surprising it is! Even such a man as our grandsire Bhishma-truthful, self-restrained, supremely wise, and one of the eight Vasus-weeps, through maya, at the hour of death.' Sri Krishna asked Bhishma about it.  Bhishma replied: 'O Krishna, You know very well that this is not the cause of my grief.  I am thinking that there is no end to the Pandavas' sufferings, though God Himself is their charioteer.7 A thought like this makes me feel that I have understood nothing of the ways of God, and so I weep.' "
It was about half past eight when the evening worship began in the prayer hall.  Soon the moon rose in the autumn sky and flooded the trees and creepers of the garden with its light.  After prayer the devotees began to sing.  Sri Ramakrishna was dancing, intoxicated with love of God.  The Brahmo devotees danced around him to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals.  All appeared to be in a very joyous mood.  The place echoed and re-echoed with God's holy name.  When the music had stopped, Sri Ramakrishna prostrated himself on the ground and, making salutations to the Divine Mother again and again, said: "Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan! My salutations at the feet of the jnanis! My salutations at the feet of the bhaktas! I salute the bhaktas who believe in God with form, and I salute the bhaktas who believe in God without form.  I salute the knowers of Brahman of olden times.  And my salutations at the feet of the modern knowers of Brahman of the Brahmo Samaj!"

Then the Master and the devotees enjoyed a supper of delicious dishes, which Benimadhav, their host, had provided.

Source - The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 6


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