This is the story of the enlightenment of the great Master, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: “One day as I was meditating in the Kali temple in a vision the Divine Mother showed me the Light of Brahman, which surpassed the light of even millions of suns together. I then saw that a luminous form emerged from that Infinite Light and again merged back into its source. I experienced that the formless Brahman took a form and again became formless – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.” Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 near Kolkata. From a young age he was fond of serving holy men and listening to their discourses. He was also very often found to be absorbed in spiritual moods. At the age of six he experienced his first Divine ecstasy while watching a flight of white cranes moving against the background of black clouds. Sadhguru tells the story of Ramakrishna’s enlightenment and his meeting with Totapuri, a great yogi. He explains that for Ramakrishna the Goddess Kali was not just a deity but a living reality. She danced in front of him, she ate from his own hands, she came when he called, and she left him dripping with ecstasy. He was actually feeding the goddess. Ramakrishna’s consciousness was so crystallized that whatever form he wished became a reality for him. Although Ramakrishna’s body, mind and emotions were dripping with ecstasy, his being was longing to go beyond this ecstasy. Somewhere there was an awareness that the ecstasy itself was a bondage. One day Ramakrishna was sitting on the banks of the Hoogli River when Totapuri, a very great and rare yogi came that way. Totapuri saw that Ramakrishna was a man of great intensity with the potential to go all the way and attain the final enlightenment. But the problem was, he was just stuck in his devotion. Ramakrishna was devoted to Kali and Kali was his only interest. When he was high on her, he would be bursting with ecstasy and dancing and singing. Totapuri came to Ramakrishna and tried to convince him by saying, “Why are you still so attached to your devotion? You have the potential to take the ultimate step.” But Ramakrishna said, “I want only Kali, that’s all.” He was like a child who wanted his mother. It is not possible to reason with that. When he would sometime lose contact with the goddess he would cry like a baby. This was the way he was. So whatever enlightenment Totapuri was talking about, he was not interested in that.
One day Totapuri told Ramakrishna, “This is very simple. Right now you are empowering your emotions, you are empowering your body, you are empowering the chemistry within you. You are not empowering your awareness. You have the necessary energy but you just have to empower your awareness.”
Ramakrishna agreed and said, “Okay, I will empower my awareness and sit.”
However the moment he has a vision of the Goddess Kali, he would again go into uncontrollable states of Love and ecstasy. No matter how many times he sat down, the moment he saw Kali, he would just go into that ecstatic state again.
So Totapuri said, “The next time Kali appears, you have to take a sword and cut her into pieces.” Ramakrishna asked, “Where do I get the sword from?” Totapuri replied, “From the same place you get Kali from. If you are able to create a whole Kali, why can’t you create a sword? You can do it. If you are able to create a goddess, why can’t you create a sword to cut her? Get ready.”
Ramakrishna sat. But the moment Kali came, he burst into ecstasy and forgot all about the sword and the awareness.
Then Totapuri told him, “You sit this time. The moment Kali comes…” and he picked up a piece of glass and said, “With this piece of glass, I am going to cut you where you are stuck. When I cut that place, you create the sword and cut Kali down.”
Again Ramakrishna sat and just when Ramakrishna was on the edge of ecstasy, when Kali appeared in his vision, Totapuri took the piece of glass and cut Ramakrishna really deep across his forehead.
At that moment, Ramakrishna created the sword and cut Kali down, becoming free from the Mother and the ecstasy of feeding off Her. That is when he truly became a Paramahamsa, when he became fully enlightened. Till then he was a lover, he was a devotee, he was a child to the Mother Goddess that he created. He remained in the state of nirvikalpa samadhi, the state of non-dual existence for six months without the least awareness of his own body. During this period Ramakrishna relived the entire range of spiritual experiences of more than three thousand years of the Hindu religion. On 16 August 1886 Ramakrishna gave up his physical body, uttering the name of the Divine Mother………