The importance of the surrender to God/Guru, after having added His remembrance as part of our dalily lives
In some other post I will talk more in details about the importance of the Guru in the Hindu tradition. Suffice is to tell now this beautiful and touchy story about Sri Ramakrishna and his disciple Girish Chandra Ghosh. I picked it from the web http://www.hinduism.co.za, with due permission for the copy as well as for the translation, as usual.
Add the God Principle in our daily lives
Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Girish Ghosh Based on the writings of Swami Nikhilananda Extracts from’The Disciples of Ramakrishna’
Girish Chandra Gosh was a born rebel against God, a sceptic, a Bohemian, a drunkard. He was the greatest Bengali dramatist of his time, the father of the modern Bengali stage. Like other young men he had imbibed all the vices of the West. He had plunged into a life of dissipation and had become convinced that religion was only a fraud. Materialistic philosophy he justified as enabling one to get at least a little fun out of life. But a series of reverses shocked him and he became eager to solve the riddle of life. He had heard people say that in spiritual life the help of a guru was imperative and that the guru was to be regarded as God himself.
But Girish was too well acquainted with human nature to see perfection in a man. His first meeting with Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa did not impress him at all. He returned home feeling as if he had seen a freak at a circus; for the Master (Sri Ramakrishna), in a semi-conscious mood, had inquired whether it was evening, though the lamps were burning in the room. But their paths often crossed, and Girish could not avoid further encounters. The Master attended a performance in Girish’s Star Theatre. On this occasion, too, Girish found nothing impressive about the Master.
One day, however, Girish happened to see the master dancing and singing with the devotees. He felt the contagion and wanted to join them, but restrained himself for fear of ridicule. Another day, Sri Ramakrishan was about to give him spiritual instruction, when Girish said: “I don’t want to listen to instructions. I have myself written many instructions. They are of no use to me. Please help me in a more tangible way if you can.” This pleased the Master and he asked Girish to cultivate faith.
As time passed, Girish began to learn that the guru is the one who silently unfolds the disciple’s inner life. He became a steadfast devotee of the Master.
Girish often loaded the Master with insults, drank in his presence, and took liberties which astounded the other devotees. One night under the influence of liquor he abused the Master in the theatre hall in most indecent language. The enraged devotees were about to punish his insolence, but Sri Ramakrishna held them back and quietly returned to Dakshineshwar Temple. There again many devotees requested the Master not to go to Girish any more.
But there was one amongst the devotees, Ram Chandra Datta, who told the Master, “Sir, you will have to put up with this as well. He can only give what he has. The serpent king of the Bhagavata said to Lord Sri Krishna, ‘My Lord, you have given me poison, where shall I get nectar to give you?’ Similarly Girish has worshipped you with whatever you have given him.”
Sri Ramakrishna simply smiled and said to the other devotees: “Just hear his words. Get me a coach (a horse drawn carriage). I shall go to Girish’s house today.” Thus without caring about the objections of the devotees, Sri Ramakrishna went to the house of Girish and found him smitten with anguish and remorse. The kind and affectionate words of the Master banished all gloom from his mind and filled it with a flood of joy.
The Master knew that at heart Girish was tender, faithful and sincere. The Master would not allow Girish to give up the theatre. And when a devotee asked him to tell Girish to give up drinking, the Master sternly replied: “That is none of your business. He who has taken charge of him will look after him. Girish is a devotee of heroic type. I tell you, drinking will not affect him.”
The Master knew that mere words could not induce a man to break deep-rooted habits, but that the silent influence of love worked miracles. Therefore he never asked Girish to give up alcohol, with the result that Girish himself eventually broke the habit. Sri Ramakrishna had strengthened Girish’s resolution by allowing him to feel that he was absolutely free.
One day in the course of a conversation Sri Ramakrishna told Girish that along with his work he must remember God at least in the morning and in the evening.(Add the God Principle in daily life) He looked at Girish as if expecting a reply. “That is a very simple thing to do,” Girish thought, “but I am a busy man with no fixed hours for food or sleep. I shall surely forget to remember God at those stated hours. So, how can I promise that?”
Sri Ramakrishna read his mind and said, “All right, if you cannot do that, then remember God before meals and at bed-time.”
Girish was not willing to promise even that- such was the irregularity of his life, and besides he was by nature opposed to any hard and fast rule and the slightest restraint was galling to him. Sri Ramakrishna realised his perplexity and said finally, “So you are unwilling to agree to this even. All right, give me your power of attorney. Henceforth, I assume responsibility for you. You need not do anything.”
Girish heaved a sigh of relief. He felt happy to think that Sri Ramakrishna had assumed his spiritual responsibilities. But poor Girish then could not realise that he also, on his part, had to give up his freedom and make of himself a puppet in Sri Ramakrishna’s hands.
The master began to discipline Girish according to this new attitude. One day Girish said about a trifling matter, “Yes, I shall do this.”
“No, no!” the Master corrected him. “You must not speak in that egoistic manner. You should say, ‘God willing, I shall do it.’ ” Girish understood. Thenceforth he tried to give up all idea of personal responsibility and surrender himself to the Divine Will. Girish understood that he had given up his freedom and had made himself the Master’s captive. Thenceforth he tried to give up all idea of personal responsibility and to become a willing instrument of the Divine Will. The sincerity of Girish in this respect was beyond comparison. His mind began to dwell constantly on Sri Ramakrishna. This unconscious meditation in time chastened Girish’s turbulent spirit.
During the last days of his life Girish used very often to utter the name of Sri Ramakrishna. His eyes and countenance radiant with a superb glow bespoke his inner illumination and his unswerving faith in the love and grace of his Master. Girish said to his brother-disciples, “I do not want anything else; only bless me that I may always remember him as the ocean of infinite love and compassion. The world is no longer a terror unto me. I have transcended all fear of death through his grace.”
On the night before the day of his final exit from the world, Girish calmly uttered the name of Sri Ramakrishna thrice and prayed, “Lord, let me have peace; take me into thy bosom.” So saying, the heroic devotee of Sri Ramakrishna closed his eyes for good and passed into the realm of eternal rest on Thursday, February 8, 1912.
[Note: The Master, Sri Ramakrishna had passed away on Sunday, August 15, 1886
“If one is in the company of Girish Babu for even five minutes, one gets freed from worldly delusion…He has such keen insight that he can see at a glance the innermost recess of a man’s heart, and by virtue of this powerful insight he was able to recognise the Master as an Avatar”.
— Nag Mahashay