Be Joyful!

  Ma Bhavatarini, Dakshineswar Kali Temple, by Usha Harding.

Ma Bhavatarini, Dakshineswar Kali Temple, by Usha Harding.

“It was evening. Sri Ramakrishna offered incense in his room. He is saluting the deities, reciting the bija mantra and singing the Name. Outside the room there is extraordinary beauty! It is the seventh day of the waxing moon in the month of Kartik. Over here, the temple is smiling in stainless moonlight, while over here the bosom of the Bhagirathi is trembling gently, like the bosom of a sleeping baby. The flood tide has finished. The sounds of the arati mingled with the current-born murmurs of the softly shining Ganga until they departed far off in the distance. Within the temple grounds arati is going on in three shrines all at once—in the Kali temple, the Vishnu temple and the Shiva temples….The priest is going to one Shiva temple, and then the next…In his left hand is a bell, in his right hand the five-wicked lamp, and with him is an attendant in whose hand is a gong…From the southwestern corner of the temple grounds, the honey-sweet sounds of the shennai’s serenade can be heard. There in the music tower, the ragas and raginis of evening time are being played. The Blissful Mother’s daily celebration—as if all living beings are being made to remember, being told: 'Don’t be without joy! In this life in the world there is but happiness and sorrow—both are inevitable. But the Mother of the Universe is here. Our Mother is here! Be joyful!' The son of a maid-servant does not have good things to eat; he does not have good things to wear; he has no home, no room—yet still he has strength of heart, because he has a mother. His support is in the lap of his mother. She is not his step-mother, She is his real mother. Who am I? Where have I come from? Where shall I go? Mother knows everything. Who need worry? My Mother knows—my Mother, the One who has given me my body, my mind, my life-breath, my very self, who has created me. I do not even want to know. If knowing is needed, She will let me know. Who need worry? Let all of Mother’s children be joyful!”

 

 

-From Sri M's “Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita” - 1.13.8

 

(Translated from the Bengali by Swami Ambikananda Saraswati)