It was one of the most beautiful festive seasons of the year Durga Pooja/Dussehra. Until then I had no idea about how this festival was being celebrated in Kolkata and why it was such a famous one. My Master informed me of his visiting Kolkata for pooja which arose craving in my heart for wanting to go with Him to Kolkata.
Like I believe, He is the one who creates this desire and He alone fulfills it too. Such are His marvelous ways which I never understood it in the beginning. The moment I expressed my desire to go with Him, at once He blessed it.
I knew not until my visit what the significance does this powerful Kshetra (Field) of Kali carries and whose power exudes through this city. The form of Kali in Dakishneshwar is the KrsnaKali signifying the rise of Woman Power in this Kali Yuga (Iron Age). Where the Women will be in the forefront of everything.
So coming back, I happily landed in Kolkata to experience the 5 most important days of the Durga Pooja which marks the victory of Goddess Durga over evil. The entire city was displayed of artistically depicted idols of Durga (aspect of Goddess Parvati), Shiva (Durga’s Consort), along with Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh & Kartikeya who are considered as Durga’s children and established in the colorfully decorated pandals within the individual or the group’s financial capacity.
I knew not what was in store for me but was very much excited to experience this festivity along with my Master and learn from him the True spiritual significance about this holy place. Having gone there with no expectation I was like a kid in the candy store.
Finally, when I arrived in the city the first thing which caught my attention was the sparkling city full of lights, music, beautifully decorated super-structured pandals each one with its own special feature and charm which left me speechless as I kept admiring the effort behind such amazing craftsmanship. It was the heaven on earth feeling.
One such experience was when I attended the evening pushpanjali at one of the pandals. The pooja began with consecration of the Gods accompanied by the rhythmic beatings of Dhak (ritual drummer whose beats reached the three worlds). I lost myself and could not open my eyes and had no knowledge of the world I existed. I cannot pen down the experience any better than this. I was inexistence to this material world. A priceless divine state…What can I say… Such was his marvelous way of gracing me with the divine fervor.
Then came the day when my Master took me to the place most awaited – Belur Matt and Dakishneswar. Even before we started I said to Him, I want to meet Sri Ramakrishnaji. Had no much idea about this great saint. And only when I visited Belur Matt did I understand the relationship between Sri Ramakrishnaji and Swami Vivekananda and about the Ramakrishna Mission, Brahmosamaj, et al which was explained by my Master. He got me the first Spiritual text – The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishnaji and from then on every book that I have is all blessed to me by Him. No knowledge can ever enter you without the grace of the Guru. I had no idea about any of this at that time. I was just a month old child and my mother (Guru) carried me in his arms threading me the path of spirituality.
We took a ferry to go to Dakishneswar and as we crossed the shore to the other side I saw the people taking a dip in the Ganges to wash of their sins – The Truth here is, it is not the Ganga water which purifies ones sins but it is the touch of the Saints feet in the Ganga which makes her Pure & Holy. Such is the great significance of a Guru whose greatness is unfathomable.
So when my Master’s feet touched the holy river Ganga he conferred his grace which made her Pure and Sacred. Well, it was much later did I learn about this Supreme Truth which is so profound and it only gets deeper by the minute as you go along the path. We finished dipping our feet in the holy Ganga and then went to take the darshan of Kali Ma. There was a huge queue, the weather was scorching hot. I wondered, if we did stand in this queue when on earth will we go in. Master having read my thought just said worry not and said see what happens.
He took me to the entrance of the main shrine. We stood in front of the main gate which was closed and the guard would not allow anyone to enter even if people offered him money. We both stood there for 5mins. He suddenly opens the gate and asks us to go in. You might call this as coincidence but no this is Truly the power of my Master whose magic are dime a dozen – Unflinching faith in the Guru, you can experience magic in your world where ever you are. Such are His powers which can be experienced only by those who believe in it.
We had a beautiful Darshan of Kali Ma and got Prasad from the priest and we then proceeded to visit the Shiva Temple, Krishna Mandir, Ramlala and RadhaKrsna Mandir. In the future will share a beautiful story about this Krishna whom I pictured sneakily and the same incident repeated in my world. Now we went to visit Sri Ramakrishnaji’s room (which is now known by meditation room). I sat in his room in meditation & praying ardently of wanting to meet Him.
While I was praying to Him I was also begging for my own laundry list of desires to be fulfilled, but as my first ask did come about in my mind the next moment suddenly I felt a hand was on my head and after that I could not speak, nor was there any thought in my mind to ask anything, nor could I even open my eyes. The hand on my head felt like a heavy iron weight. I could not move was stuck to the ground where I sat. I felt a divine bliss, peace in my heart and like it is rightly said – When God appears you cannot speak nor ask for anything. You only shed tears in deep reverence and wonder stuck having met Him.
I was then woken up by my Guru and He asked me what happened? Did you meet Ramakrishnaji? I was in tears and my joy knew no bounds as this was my first such experience of God in a Manifest form – It is said, As is your faith so is your experience. As I pen this down I am still able to experience Ramakrishnaji’s hand on my head. Such is the grace of the Guru and God – Guru Sakshat Parabrahma, Guru is the doorway to God. Without the grace of the Guru you can never experience God.
And then we head off to Adyapeath, however, this time I did not get my Darshan as the temple was closed. It was not the right time yet for me to meet the Divine. But here an interesting event happened. We were also accompanied by my Guru’s foster parents. It was lunch time and we were hungry. My Guru’s mother got food coupons for us to have the lunch which was being served at the temple. I was of the opinion that we could go out and eat. So ma went to return the coupons. And the authorities refused to take it back from her. She kept trying hard to sell it someone.
Given that she was old I felt bad and agreed to have our lunch at the temple. There was a long queue before we could go in. This was the beginning of me coming down from my high horse. Which is basically to give up one’s ego and ways of life which we have so much got accustomed to living in this material world. It was very humbling to sit down and have the Prasad which is basically not to focus on your palate (senses). I got my lesson and experience too.
And with this beginning returned to Bangalore with deep love for my Master and the Divinities in Kolkata. Here ends my narration about my Meeting with Sri Ramakrishnaji and the next story is about me getting Initiated by my Master!!!
Image Courtesy by Wikipedia