rendrath Dutta was searching for God, and being a modern young man, he joined the Brahmo Samaj. He asked respected elders, “Sir, have you seen God?”, only to see them shake their heads. No, they had not seen God; they only talked about God and what He was like as if they knew.
THE VOICE WITHIN
One day, ren’s professor, Principal WW Hastie, elaborated on the subject of trance. He used William Wordsworth’s poem ‘The Excursion’ to demonstrate what he meant:
“...but for the growing Youth
What soul was his, when, from the ked top
Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun
Rise up, and bathe the world in light! He looked —
Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth
And ocean’s liquid mass, in gladness lay
Beneath him:— Far and wide the clouds were touched,
And in their silent faces could he read
Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle: sensation, soul, and form,
All melted into him; they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live; they were his life.
In such access of mind, in such high hour
Of visitation from the living God,
Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request;
Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind was a thanksgiving to the power
That made him; it was blessedness and love!”
Elaborating, Principal Hastie said: “Such an experience is a result of purity of mind and concentration on a particular object.” He then added that he had met only one person who might have experienced such a blessed state of mind. He was Ramakrish Paramahamsa of Dakshineswar.
His curiosity at fever pitch, ren set off to meet Sri Ramakrish. “Sir, have you seen God?” he asked.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrish answered: “Yes, I have seen God. I see Him as I see you here, only more clearly. God can be seen. One can talk to Him.”
At last, ren felt he had found what he was so desperately searching for. But English-educated as he was, he had been taught to be skeptical. As a member of Brahmo Samaj, he had promised not to bow down to a deity with form. Though he came to love and respect Sri Ramakrish from the depth of his heart, he sometimes mocked the sage for his fervent devotion to Maa Kali.
Years passed. Under the influence of Ramakrish’s spiritual power, ren became Vivekanda. His doubts evaporated. In the end, he had to surrender to the Divine Mother...