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Sri Ramakrishna becoming priest

Sri Ramakrishna becoming priest:

Dakshineshwar Kali Events:

Divine Mother brings Sri Ramakrishna to Dakshineshwar: When Ramkumar performed the installation ceremony of the Dakshineshwar Kali temple on Thu, May 31, 1855 on the day of the Snanayatra, Sri Ramakrishna came to the temple probably for the first time and took part in the festivities. However he had reservations against accepting the prasada of the temple. Sri Ramakrishna then returned to Jhamapukur. On the next day he again came there to see his brother but again retuned to Jhamapukur inspite of Ramkumar asking him to stay there. After about a week when Ramkumar did not return to Jhamapukur Sri Ramakrishna once again came there to see his brother. Realizing that his brother had accepted the temple service permanently, Sri Ramakrishna expressed his disapproval saying that their father did not officiate the sacrifices of the sudras. Ramkumar tried to support his actions through various scriptural arguments but could not convince him. Finally Ramkumar took the recourse of Dharmapatra (leaf of impartiality) which represented the divine opinion. The Dharmapatra read: "Ramkumar did not incur any blame in accepting the office of the priest. It will be beneficial to all".

Sri Ramakrishna starts staying at Dakshineshwar: The opinion of the Dharmapatra made Sri Ramakrishna free from the anxiety of his brother's decision. However he still had reservations about partaking the prasada of the temple. Ramkumar suggested to take the provisions from the temple and cook his own food on the bank of river Ganga, the Ganga which purifies all. Sri Ramakrishna had great devotion to Ganga. He accepted this suggestion and started staying at Dakshineshwar cooking his own food for sometime.

Divine Mother starts attracting Sri Ramakrishna: The environment of Dakshineshwar started attracting Sri Ramakrishna gradually. The beautiful river Ganga for which he had great devotion, the Panchavati garden filled with the songs of birds, the temple service performed with devotion, the devotional attitude of Rani Rashmani and Mathur Babu; all these started attracting him greatly. Thus the Divine Mother made Sri Ramakrishna settle at Dakshineshwar.

Ref: Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master - Part 2 - Ch 5: Divine Mother brings Hriday to Dakshineshwar: When Sri Ramakrishna started staying at Dakshineshwar after consecration of the temple, Hriday the cousin of Sri Ramakrishna came there. Divine Will is conspicuous behind this incident because Hriday would become the right-hand of Sri Ramakrishna during his years of sadhana. During that time Hriday was sixteen and Sri Ramakrishna was twenty. Hriday was a strong, fearless and resourceful person, bereft of contemplative mood. He was a suitable character to closely take care of Sri Ramakrishna during his period of sadhana. And this Hriday did like a shadow. Hriday himself said: "Many a time I felt an indescribable attraction towards the Master since then and always remained with him like a shadow. Even a minute's separation from him was painful to me. I bathed with him, walked with him, sat with him and lay down with him."

Divine Mother engages Sri Ramakrishna in Her service: After the arrival of Hriday, the Divine Mother engaged Sri Ramakrishna in Her service and set the stage for his sadhanas. Sri Ramakrishna did not want to take up any job because the aim of his life was deeply etched in his mind which was: "would not serve anyone but God". However after staying at Dakshineshwar for two or three months, Sri Ramakrishna agreed to perform the service of the Divine Mother on the request of Mathur Babu. The service involved dressing up the Image in the temple. The service was not a normal job but a sadhana for Sri Ramakrishna. He accepted the service with the condition that someone else need to take care of the jewelry of the Goddess. Mathur Babu was attracted towards Sri Ramakrishna at the very first sight and wanted him to dress up the Image of the Goddess. He had earlier conveyed his intention to Ramkumar. However Ramkumar dissuaded him telling that the mental condition of Sri Ramakrishna was not suitable to take up any service. Mathur Babu however was not dissuaded but waited for an appropriate moment. So when Sri Ramakrishna put the condition that someone else need to take care of the jewelry of the Goddess, Mathur Babu readily agreed to it and asked Hriday and Ramkumar to assist him. Another incident of Sri Ramakrishna that impressed Mathur Babu was an Image of Shiva made by him. The Image was so expressive of divine qualities that both Mathur Babu and Rani Rashmani highly appreciated his skills. Hence to them Sri Ramakrishna was a highly suitable person to take up the service of the Divine Mother. Thus the Divine Mother engaged Sri Ramakrishna in Her service. This engagement turned out to be a divine sadhana to show the spiritual light to mankind.

Divine Mother engages Sri Ramakrishna in the service of Radha-Govinda: Dakshineshwar temple is an unique temple in the sense that on the bank of river Ganga is housed the shrines of Devi, Shiva and Krishna in the same temple complex. Earlier, Maheshchandra Chattopadhyaya who was procuring brahmins for the Dakshineshwar temple had appointed his own elder brother Kshetranath Chattopadhyaya as the priest of the Radha-Govinda temple. However this arrangement turned out to be temporary as the Divine Mother had a different plan. The plan was to engage Sri Ramakrishna in the service of Radha-Govinda also. Thus towards the end of 1855 AD on the day of Nanda festival (the day after Krishna Janmashtami) the priest Kshetranath while carrying the Image of Govinda to another room, fell down and broke the foot of the Image. There was a great commotion. Kshetranath was dismissed from the service for negligence. Suggestions were floating to replace the broken Image of Govinda. But Sri Ramakrishna in ecstasy suggested that the broken Image need not be replaced. He then himself set the foot of the Image so well that even today the broken part cannot be detected. Later when Jayanarayan Bandyopadhyaya, a landlord asked Sri Ramakrishna: 'Sir, is Govinda of that temple broken?', Sri Ramakrishna replied: 'Ah, what a fine understanding! Can One, who is an indivisible whole, be broken?' Thus Sri Ramakrishna was engaged in the service of Radha-Govinda by the Will of the Divine Mother. In subsequent years the worship service of Mother Kali and Radha-Govinda continued to be shared among Sri Ramakrishna, Ramkumar and Hriday.

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Last updated on Mar-2024

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