Scene 1

(Sri Ramakrishna with his disciples at Dakshineshwar.)

RAKHAL: Have you heard about our Naren recently? Everybody is speaking ill of him. Everybody says that he has become an atheist. But I don't believe it.

BHAVANANDA: You don't believe it? I suspect him. This morning I was at his house. He speaks like a real atheist.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Shut up! Shut up! My Mother Kali has told me that this can never be so. My Naren can never be an atheist. If I hear once more from you people that my Naren has become an atheist, I shall never again see your faces! Never!

TARAK: Our Naren can never be an atheist. I know him.

JOGIN: Impossible! Our Naren can never be an atheist. Even if I see any defect in Naren, I will not believe it. I will think it is the fault of my own eyes. If I hear anything bad about Naren, I shall think it is the fault of my own ears. Our Naren can never do anything wrong.

TARAK: Certainly, certainly. That should be our attitude. He is our real friend. Our Naren is pure. It is very rare to have a God-like character like Naren's.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Excellent, excellent. (Pointing to his own body.) It is for Naren that I have come here into the world. You try to recognize Naren. One day he will conquer the whole world. I see in the spiritual Master Keshab Sen only one knowledge-sun. But in my Naren I see eighteen knowledge-suns.

(Enter Naren. He prostrates himself before Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna places his hand on Naren's head.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: May Mother bless you.

NAREN: Today I have a special request.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Is there any request of yours that I will not fulfil?

NAREN: Then please fulfil this request. My mother and my little sisters and brothers are practically starving. We have become absolutely poverty-stricken. After the death of my father, all our relatives turned against us. Now my family has no means of support. I am the eldest member in my family and I can do nothing for them. If you make a special request to the Mother to save me from this financial difficulty, she will listen to you. I am sure that if you ask the Mother, she will definitely listen to your request.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Naren, I am ready to beg from door to door for you. Do you think that I have not yet asked my Mother about you? But what can I do? You do not believe in her; that is why she does not pay any attention to my request. All right. I have an excellent idea. It is Tuesday. Go to the Temple of Mother Kali today and invoke her. Pray to the Mother. Whatever you want, I assure you, she will grant to you.

NAREN: All right. Today I shall test your stone-hearted Mother, Thakur.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: My child, don't say that. She is not stone-hearted. She is all love. She is all compassion.