JANUARY 1st: THE DAY OF SRI
"'I shall make the whole thing public
before I go,' the Master has said some time before. On January 1, 1886, he felt better and
came down to the garden for a little stroll. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon.
Some thirty lay disciples were in the hall or sitting about under the trees. Sri
Ramakrishna said to Girish (Ghosh), 'Well Girish, what have you seen in me, that you
proclaim me before everybody as an Incarnation of God?' Girish was not the man to be taken
by surprise. He knelt before the Master and said with folded hands, 'What can an
insignificant person like myself say about the One whose glory even sages like Vyasa and
Valmiki could not adequately measure?' The Master was profoundly moved. He said: 'What
more shall I say? I bless you all. Be illumined!' He fell into a spiritual mood. Hearing
these words the devotees, one and all, became overwhelmed with emotion. They rushed to him
and fell at his feet. He touched them all, and each received an appropriate benediction.
Each of them, at the touch of the Master, experienced ineffable bliss. Some laughed, some
wept, some sat down to meditate, some began to pray. Some saw light, some had visions of
their Chosen Ideals, and some felt within their bodies the rush of spiritual power."
From the Introduction to THE
GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
by Swami Nikhilananda
"Those words words of profound blessing, untouched by the slightest tinge of
selfishness, directly entered the devotees' hearts where they raised high billows of
bliss. They forgot time and space, forgot the disease of the Master and forgot their
previous determination not to touch him till he recovered, and had the immediate feeling
that sympathizing with their misery, and heart overflowing with compassion, had come down
to them from heaven and called them affectionately to Him for protection, like a mother
sheltering her children against all ills."
From SRI RAMAKRISHNA, THE GREAT MASTER
by Swami Saradananda