The first meeting with Sri Ramakrishna

Although Nag Mahashay came from a small village in East Bengal, he was living in Calcutta. There he studied traditional medicine and later homeopathy. He had a friend named Suresh, who used to meditate on the formless aspect of God, while Nag Mahashay always wanted to pray to the embodied God, the God with form. These two friends were dearer than the dearest. At the same time, since their views were diametrically opposite, they used to argue far into the night. But they never arrived at a conclusion or solution to their different beliefs.

One day Suresh said to Nag Mahashay, "I believe in the impersonal aspect of God and you believe in the personal aspect of God. Since you are so deeply interested in the personal God, I would like to bring you to see someone who has either realised God or who has attained to a very, very lofty state of consciousness. He is living just near Calcutta, at Dakshineshwar."

So Suresh and Nag Mahashay went to see Sri Ramakrishna for the first time. When they entered Sri Ramakrishna's room, Suresh just folded his hands and greeted the Master. Unfortunately, humility was sadly lacking. Nag Mahashay behaved in an altogether different way. At the very sight of Sri Ramakrishna, he fell prostrate before the Master and wanted to take the dust of his feet. But Sri Ramakrishna withdrew his legs and did not allow Nag Mahashay to touch his feet.

The poor fellow was cut to the quick. He said to himself, "I am not worthy of touching his feet. He knows how impure I am. He has realised God; he is a man of infinite compassion. For him not to allow me to touch his feet means that my entire being is all impurity. Now I have to make myself pure in my thought, in my speech and in each action. In everything that I undertake, I have to be pure, pure, pure. Then I am sure one day he will allow me to touch his feet."

Although Nag Mahashay was extremely sad that he was not allowed to touch Sri Ramakrishna's feet, in a matter of a few minutes he found that his sadness was replaced by a feeling of tremendous love and admiration for Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna asked the two friends a few questions and then asked them to go and meditate in the Panchavati, where he had attained his own spiritual perfection. They meditated there for half an hour and returned to Sri Ramakrishna, who then showed them all the temples at Dakshineshwar. They saw the twelve temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the temple to Lord Vishnu. Finally, they came to Mother Kali's temple.

Sri Ramakrishna fell down at the Feet of Mother Kali's statue and with utmost devotion he started worshipping the Mother. Nag Mahashay saw that the Master had entered into a state of divine ecstasy. Nag Mahashay also showed tremendous devotion to the Mother, but his friend only observed everything in silence.

Afterwards they all returned to Sri Ramakrishna's room. He gave them something very simple to eat and said, "Come back again."