Scene 1

(It is night. Inside the Kali Temple, Naren is meditating. After a while, he prostrates himself before the statue of Mother Kali.)

NAREN: Jnana viveka vairagya de ma. Mother, give me the Light of Knowledge, the Light of Discrimination and the Light of Renunciation, so that I can always see you.

(Enter Sri Ramakrishna hurriedly.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Naren, have you asked Mother Kali for money for your family? What have you been doing?

NAREN: What a surprise! I forgot all about it.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: No harm. I shall give you another chance. Ask her for money, for material wealth. Mother will give it to you.

(Naren turns to the statue and begins meditating again.)

NAREN: Mother, give me the Light of Knowledge, the Light of Discrimination and the Light of Renunciation. Mother, Mother of mine, Mother of my heart and soul.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Again the same thing? Why do you forget that your mother and brothers and sisters are all starving? Ask the Mother to save your family from poverty. This is the only time that you can ask the Mother for that. I will not be able to give you the same opportunity every day. I am ready to give it to you any time. But Mother will not allow it. Today I have promised you because Mother has told me that she will fulfil your prayers today, no matter what you ask of her. Now you have lost your second chance. But I wish to give you another chance. Please, my son, this time don’t forget. Remember, you must ask the Mother for material wealth. That is what you need. Right now you don’t need spiritual wealth.

NAREN: No, I won’t take any more chances. I do not need material wealth. I want nectar from the Mother, and not anything else. For gourds and pumpkins I will not ask. I can ask only for the nectar-fruit.

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: Since you cannot ask the Mother for material wealth and prosperity, then I wish to say that you will never have a comfortable life. But from now on you will be able to manage. You and your family will not starve. You will be able to live at least from hand to mouth. Mother will do that much for you. (He shouts) Come, all those who are here! No matter where you are! Come! All my disciples, come!

(Enter disciples.)

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: You people have told me that my Naren has become an atheist. Look! He could not ask for material wealth from my Mother. Do you know that he starves? His mother and his sisters and brothers have no food at home. Yet he could not ask Mother Kali for material wealth. Nowhere on earth will you find anyone who can equal my Naren. He is your leader. He will lead and guide you. He will preserve you. This body of mine is completing its role. Soon I will belong to the other world. (To Vivekananda.) Naren, my child, sing a song. I shall meditate while you sing.

(Naren sings. Sri Ramakrishna meditates in deep trance.)

Sundara hate sundara tumi
nandana bana majhe
nishidin jena antare mor
tomari murati raje
tumi chhara mor nayan andhar
sakali mithya sakali asar
chaudike mor bishwa bhubane
bedanar sur baje
pabo kigo dekha nimesher tare
ei jibaner majhe

(You are beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful,
Beauty unparalleled in the garden of Eden.
Day and night may Thy image abide in the very depths of my heart.
Without You my eyes have no vision,
Everything is an illusion, everything is barren.
All around me, within and without,
The melody of tenebrous pangs I hear.
My world is filled with excruciating pangs.
O Lord, O my beautiful Lord,
O my Lord of beauty, in this lifetime, even for a fleeting second,
May I be blessed with the boon to see Thy Face.)