Select Page

The blessed hour for which Khudiram and Chandra were anxiously waiting at last drew near. In the early hours of the morning of February 18,1836, Chandra gave birth to a boy whom the world was to know afterwards by the name of Sri Ramakrishna. Learned astrologers predicted a great future for the child, and Khudiram was over joyed that the prospective greatness of his son confirmed his previous vision and the experience of Chandra. He named him Gadadhar in memory of his wonderful dream at Gaya.

Since his very birth Gadadhar cast a spell of fascination not only over his parents and relatives but also over his neighbors, who could not help paying visit to Khudiram’s house whenever possible just to have a look at ‘‘Gadai’’— – as he was lovingly called.

The years rolled on, and Gadadhar was now five years old. He began to show wonderful intelligence and memory even at this early age. The precocious boy learnt by heart the names of his ancestors, the hymns to various gods and goddesses, and tales from the great national epics. As he grew to be very restless, Khudiram sent him to the village school. At school Gadadhar made fair progress, but he showed great distaste for mathematics. He directed all his attention to the study of the lives and characters of spiritual heroes. Constant study of those subjects often made him forgetful of the world and threw him into deep meditation. As he grew older, he began to have trances whenever his religious feelings were roused. Soon it was found that not only religious subjects but beautiful scenery or some touching incident was also sufficient to make him lose himself. Once an occurrence of this kind caused great anxiety to his parents and relatives. Sri Ramakrishna in later years narrated this incident to his devotees in the following way:‘

In that part of the country (that is, Kamarpukur)the boys are given puffed rice for snack. This they carry in small wicker baskets, or, if they are too poor, in a corner of their cloth. Then they go out for play on the roads or in the fields. One day in June or July, when I was six or seven years old, I was walking along a narrow path separating paddy fields, eating some of the puffed rice which I was carrying in a basket. Looking up at the sky I saw a beautiful sombre thunder cloud. As it spread rapidly enveloping the whole sky, a flock of snow white cranes flew overhead across it. It presented such a beautiful contrast that my mind wandered to far-off regions. Lost to outward sense, I fell down,and the puffed rice was scattered in all directions.Some people found me in that plight and carried me home in their arms. That was the first time I completely lost consciousness in ecstasy.’ But this was not the only time he had such an experience. On two other occasions also in his boyhood —once while accompanying a group of elderly ladies of the village who were going for the worship of a deity in a neighbouring village, and again, while playing the role of Shiva in the village dramatic performance on a Shivaratri night—the boy Gadadhar passed into deep trance, and it was with great difficulty that he could be brought back to the plane of normal consciousness.

In the year 1843 Khudiram died, and the entire burden of the family fell upon the shoulders of Ramkumar, his eldest son. The death of Khudiram brought a great change in the mind of Gadadhar, who now began to feel poignantly the loss of his affectionate father as also the transitoriness of earthly life. Though very young, he began to frequent the neighbouring mango-grove or the cremation ground in the vicinity and pass long hours there absorbed in thought. But he did not forget his duty to his loving mother. He became less exacting in his importunities, and tried every means to lessen the burden of his mother ’s grief, and to infuse into her melancholy life whatever joy and consolation he could.

To be continued..

Read first part of story here : The happening of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa