Scene 1

(The day of Sri Ramakrishna’s passing. His disciples and consort, Sarada Devi, are standing by his bedside. Three disciples are standing a little apart from the others.)

FIRST DISCIPLE: It pains me to see our Master like this. His frail frame seems less dependable than a storm-tossed raft.

SECOND DISCIPLE: By going deep within, still one can discover his true divine personality. Even now one can never doubt his greatness. In his teachings abides a colossal Will that can shake the world.

THIRD DISCIPLE: No Indian youth of the rising generation can dream of escaping the subtle influence of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

FIRST DISCIPLE: Ramakrishna will appear to one person as a man of overflowing emotion, to a second as an ardent aspirant, to a third as a man of philosophical wisdom, to a fourth as a man of unique sincerity.

SECOND DISCIPLE: It is inevitable that different persons should hold different opinions regarding his personality. For in a matter like this, a flawless intellectual analysis is impossible, and all our human judgement will sadly fail to yield any useful answer.

THIRD DISCIPLE: But nobody will ever hesitate to call him the most beloved child of the Divine Mother Kali. His sole aim in life was to have nothing save and except a constant union with Mother Kali. This aim he fulfilled. In one word we can sum up the message of his life: Mother.

FIRST DISCIPLE: It is Ramakrishna, too, who has shown the greatest reverence for women that the world has ever known. He feels that women are the embodiment of the Divine Mother and he treats them as divinities. His own consort, Sarada Devi, he worships as the Divine Mother Herself.

SECOND DISCIPLE: The higher consciousness that constantly floods the mind and heart of Sri Ramakrishna exerts a unique influence not only on us, his disciples, but also on all persons around him. It lifts everyone above the ordinary plane to partake of the divine sweetness of Heaven. His very life is in itself the most effective refutation of the half-believer and the unbeliever in the Divine.

THIRD DISCIPLE: Here is a man whose authoritative voice declared that he had not only seen the Omnipotent, but could show Him to his beloved disciple, Naren.

(Hearing Naren’s name mentioned, Ramakrishna opens his eyes.)

RAMAKRISHNA (pathetically): Naren … Naren, why are you silent? You look confused, almost baffled. I have read your mind. Still you doubt me, Naren?

(Naren comes closer to his Master, but remains silent.)

RAMAKRISHNA: He who is Rama, He who is Krishna, in one form is Ramakrishna.

(Shedding tears, Naren bows to Sri Ramakrishna and touches his feet.)

NAREN: I shall not doubt you any more, Thakur. In your presence, I have found that man can be perfect even in this body. The descent of Avatars like you, O Master, is for the purpose of uplifting and furthering the progress of mankind in the evolutionary process. You go on doing good for mankind in your earthly body as long as it serves the interest of humanity. You are free from the results of your actions, good or bad, big or small.

SARADA DEVI: Now that my Kali — Ramakrishna — is about to pass behind the curtain of Eternity, an excruciating pain is torturing my heart.

(She begins to cry bitterly. To everyone’s surprise, Ramakrishna raises himself slightly.)

RAMAKRISHNA: Why do you weep so bitterly? I leave your Naren with you.

SARADA DEVI: Yes, my Divine Lord, it is true. You are the seed sown in the world-soil, and our Naren is the bumper crop which humanity shall reap. Thakur is the Inspiration, his Naren is its Expression. So humanity will have both Inspiration and Expression as its peerless possessions. (She bows down to Ramakrishna.) Glory to you, O Thakur. In you we find a triumphant living example of the truths that you preach. To you we offer our deepest homage. Our hearts feel that what you possess is the Infinite, and that the Infinite is your heart’s Eternal Home.

(Sri Ramakrishna leaves the body.)

Sri Chinmoy, Drink, drink my Mother’s Nectar, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973