Holier than thou – Ramakrishna


Sri Mahendra Nath Gupta is familiary known to the readers of the “Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna” by his pen name M.  He kept a diary of all his meetings and experiences with Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and later wrote them in a book. This first, full-fledged volume of  the “Gospel” was  published in Chennai in 1907.

M.’s firt meeting with Sri Ramakrishna

After a little conversation M. saluted the Master and took his leave. “Come again”, Sri Ramakrishna said.

On his way home M. began to wonder: “Who is this serene-looking man who is drawing me back to him? Is it possible for a man to be great without being a scholar? How wonderful it is! I should like to see him again. He himself said, ‘Come again.’ I shall go tomorrow or the day after.”

Holier than thou ?

After a few minutes Sri Ramakrishna looked at him kindly and said affectionately: “You see, you have certain good signs. I know them by looking at a person’s forehead, his eyes, and so on. Tell me, now, what kind of person is your wife? Has she spiritual attributes, or is she under the power of avidya?”

M: “She is all right. But I am afraid she is ignorant.

Master (with evident displeasure): “And you are a man of knowledge!”

M. had yet to learn the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Up to this time his conception had been that one got knowledge from books and schools. Later on he gave up this false conception. He was taught that to know God is knowledge, and not to know Him, ignorance. When Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed, “And you are a man of knowledge!”, M.’s ego was again badly shocked.

Note: The Master is not afraid to tell the truth. The Master tries to subdue the ego of the seeker so that the seeker will attain happiness. Humility is one of the core prerequisites to spiritual progress.

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
By Mahendranath Gupta (“M”), His Disciple
Translated from the Bengali by Swami Nikhilananda