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Sharda Ma


Osho on Ramakrishna Paramhansa Marriage and worship of Ma

Osho - I am reminded of Ramakrishna. He was uneducated, and you will not find another misfit like him. Yet this country has accepted him as one of the incarnations of God.  When he was nine years old he had an experience of deep meditation. He was not looking for it. He was just a boy coming back from the field to his home, and just on the way there was a lake, a beautiful lake. It was sunset time and there were black clouds in the sky. The rains were just to come. And as he came by the side of the lake, a line of white cranes, who must have been sitting on the bank of the lake, were disturbed by his coming. They flew across the black clouds. 

The white crane is snow white, and twelve or fifteen cranes in a line, moving across the black clouds... and the sunset on the lake, spreading gold all over. The beauty of the moment was such that Ramakrishna could not contain it; he fell into unconsciousness. It was too much for his conscious mind, just to say that "It is beautiful" and go home.  When he was not home, people went in search. His father said, "He left the field before me." They looked around the lake and they found him unconscious -- but with such a joy on his face. When he came back to consciousness, the first words he said were, "I have known life for the first time. Up to now I have been unconscious; these few hours I was CONSCIOUS." 

The parents became afraid -- any parents would have become afraid -- that this boy was showing symptoms which could lead him to becoming a sannyasin, a seeker. And for centuries parents have thought, and thought rightly, that it would be good to arrange a marriage. The woman will put him right.  They were afraid: perhaps he will say no. But when his father asked, "Would you like to be married?" he said, "Great! I have seen many marriages in town; it is such a joy, riding on the horse like a king."  The father thought, "He does not understand what marriage is, he has simply seen the marriage processions. But it is good he is ready." 

So they found a beautiful girl in a nearby place, and when he was going there -- it was summertime -- to see the girl, his mother put three rupees in his pocket, she told him, "If you need, you use them, but there is no need to waste them. We are poor people."  And this is the way in India, which still persists over almost ninety percent of India: you can see the girl only as a glimpse. She will come and serve tea -- and that is the moment when you see her for few seconds -- and she is gone.  Sharda, who was going to become his wife, came to put some sweets in his plate when they were taking their breakfast. He said to his father, "My god, the girl is so beautiful!"

He took out the three rupees and put them at her feet, and touched her feet and said, "Mother, you are one in millions. I am going to marry you."  The father said, "Idiot! First you call her `mother,' touch her feet... and you have put your offering also, three rupees. And you are going to marry her?"  Even the girl's parents became a little afraid, because this boy seems to be a little crazy. But Ramakrishna said, "I don't see any problem in it. She is so beautiful, that's why I touched her feet. Beauty should be respected. And she is so motherly; you can see it even from her face. That's why I called her `mother'. Every girl is going to be a mother, so why you are freaking out?

And I have decided that if I am going to marry anyone, this girl is the one; otherwise I will remain unmarried."  Both the families managed, convinced each other that he is not mad or anything, just a little off, land a little eccentric, but he is not harmful. He does things which should not be done, but he never harms anybody.  They were married and the first night Ramakrishna said to Sharda, "It is private, don't say it to anybody; I have accepted you as my mother. Let the whole world think you are my wife. I know you are my mother, you know I am your son. And this is going to be our relationship." And this remained their relationship their whole life.

But rather than being criticized he is being respected for this strange relationship. His wife is his mother, and there was never any husband and wife relationship between them.  There are so many stories of unfitness.... One sudra queen -- she was a queen, but by the Hindu caste system she was the lowest untouchable -- made a very beautiful temple on the banks of Ganges near Calcutta, in Dakshineshwar. No brahmin was ready to be a priest in her temple. The temple made by a sudra, by an untouchable, had also become untouchable; and the god inside had also become untouchable.

In the whole of Bengal, only Ramakrishna, when he heard it, said, "This is a perfectly good chance." He went to the queen and said, "I am ready to be the priest" -- and he was a high caste brahmin.  She said, "Have you thought about it? Your society may discard you, expel you."  He said, "I don't have any society. And what does it matter if they expel me, if they make me an outcaste? I am not dependent on anyone. I am going to be the priest in this temple." And he was expelled, condemned.

People tried to persuade him, "If you leave this job we can give you a better job in a high-caste Hindu temple. You will get more money." But he said, "It is not a question of money. I love the temple, I love the place, I love the silence surrounding it, the trees... and I love the goddess inside the temple."  He was expelled, but he never cared about it. Even his family stopped visiting him -- because they would be expelled -- and they told him that he could not come back home. He said, "It is perfectly okay."  And his worshiping was so strange: sometimes he would worship from morning till evening, dancing and singing madly.

People would come and go, and sometimes he would lock the temple and would not open it for a few days. It was reported to Rashmani, the queen: "What kind of priest have you found? Every priest worships for half an hour at the most. This man seems to be mad: when he worships, then time stops; then he goes on dancing and singing from morning till evening. And sometimes, which is absolutely sacrilegious, he locks the temple. Neither does he worship, nor does he allow anybody else to enter!" 

The queen called him and said, "Ramakrishna, what kind of worship is this?"  He said, "Who says it is worship? It is a love affair. And in a love affair it is natural: sometimes I get angry, sometimes she gets angry." He is talking about the goddess of the temple. "And when I get angry I lock the door and I say, `Now live for three days, four days, without food, without worship, and you will come to your senses.'"  Rashmani said, "But we have never heard of this kind of worship!"  Ramakrishna said, "There has never been a priest like Ramakrishna."  In the temples, when priests worship, the food is presented to the god or the goddess and then it is distributed. And Ramakrishna would spoil it completely.

First he would taste everything inside the temple. Before offering it to the goddess, he would taste everything, and then he will offer it. Again he was called: "You are doing something very wrong. It has never been done."  He said, "I am not concerned whether it has been done or not. I know only one thing: my mother used to taste everything, and then she would give it to me. If it was really delicious, she would give; if it was not she would prepare it again.

And if my mother can do that for me... I cannot give anything to the goddess without knowing whether it is worth eating or not."  Rashmani must have been a very intelligent woman to tolerate this misfit man. Instead of condemning him, people started coming to pay respect to him. His love for the goddess was so genuine, although it was not ritualistic. And anything genuine cannot be a ritual.

Source: from book "the mahageeta volume1" by Osho


Related Links:
           Osho - Sri Ramakrishna Enlightenment
           Osho on Ramakrishna Paramhansa Parables
           Osho on Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Sadhanas
           Osho on Ramakrishna Paramhansa Interest in food
           Osho on Sri Ramakrishna Bhakti yoga and Path of Devotion
           Osho on Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Keshav Chandra Sen
           Osho on Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Dying(leaving Body) from Cancer
           Osho on Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda First Meeting
Sri Ramakrishna on Occult Powers
Sri Ramakrishna on Need of Guru and Faith in Guru
           Sri Ramakrishna on Vedantic Non-dualism, What happens after Samadhi
           Sri Ramakrishna Teachings Blog

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