Mahendranath Gupta and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Gopa Kuteeram kids around the US are being taught stories from Srimad Bhagavatam, Srimad Ramayanam, and stories of great Bhaktas as part of their regular classes and are encouraged to write what they learned.
This article is based on an excerpt from Sri Swamiji’s Ramayanam series where he talks of a conversation between Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and his devotee Mahendranath Gupta.
Mahendranath Gupta was a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He stayed with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and did a great service by writing down his day-to-day interactions and activities. Through him, we know many things about Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa like who came to visit him, what they spoke about, and how was his bhava samadhi.
One day, during the early days of Mahendranath Gupta’s association with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Mahendranath Gupta told him, “I can accept anything you say, except for ‘Saguna Upasana’.”
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa promptly stated, “You speak about Brahmam, please tell me what that is.”
“Where is that Brahmam?” inquired Sri Ramakrishna.
“He is sarvavyapi (omnipresent),” Mahendranath Gupta answered.
Sri Ramakrishna asked, “Isn’t that sarvavyapi (omnipresent) also present in this archavatara (divine murthy form)?”
He further added, “Does that Brahmam know everything? He is sarvagnyan. He knows everything. Then, isn’t it true that if a devotee believes that the supreme is present in the murthy and worships it, the Brahmam will know?”
“Yes, he will know,” replied Mahendranath Gupta.
Sri Ramakrishna said, “Is there anything that Brahmam can’t do? He is sarvashakthan (all-powerful). Is it possible for that bhaktha to receive grace through that archavatara in such case? Yes, he can.”
At that moment, Mahendranath Gupta had realized and understood ‘’Saguna Upasana’.
How can the omnipresent Bhagavan not be believed to be also present inside the archavatara to which we pray? Even in the archavatara form, Bhagavan is present. He knows everything. When a Bhakta calls out to him through his archavatara form, he knows. Even when we speak to him in any language, he understands. Language isn’t important over here, the thoughts that arise in our mind are significant.
Excerpted from Sri Swamiji’s discourses
Radharani Narayanan, 13 yrs, Atlanta, GA
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