I was born in Bengal and became a monk and a celibate by choice. At my birth my father had a horoscope taken of my life, but would never tell me what it was. Some years ago I visited my home. My father having died, I came across the chart among some papers in my mother’s possession and saw from it that I was destined to become a wanderer on the face of the earth.

I had a deep interest in religion and philosophy from my childhood. And our books teach renunciation as the highest ideal to which man can aspire. It only needed the meeting with a great teacher, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, to kindle in me the final determination to follow the path he himself had trod, as in him I found my highest ideal realised.

In the Order to which I belong we are called Sanyasins The word means “A man who has renounced”. This is a very, very, very ancient Order. Even Buddha, who lived 560 years before Christ, belonged to that Order. So ancient! You find it mentioned away back in the Vedas, the oldest book in the world.

The Order is not a Church and the people who join the Order are not priests. There is an absolute difference between the priests and the Sanyasins.

The Sanyasins don’t posses property, and they do not marry. There is the bond between the teacher and the taught. That is peculiar to India. The teacher is not a man who comes to teach me and I pay him so much and there it ends. In India it is really like an adoption. The teacher is more than my own father, and I am truly his child, his son in every respect. I owe him obedience and reverence first, before my own father even, because the father gave me this body, but he (the teacher) showed me the way to Salvation. He is greater than father.

And we carry this love, this respect for our teacher all our lives. Sometimes the teacher may be a young man and the disciple a very old man.

Now, I happened to get an old man to teach me, and he was very peculiar. He did not go much for intelectual scholarship, scarcely studied books, but when he was a boy he was seized with a tremendous idea of getting truth direct. First he tried by studying his own religion. Then he got the idea that he must get the truth of other religions, and with that idea he joined all the sects, one after another. For the time being, he did exactly what they told him to do, lived with the devotees of these different sects in turn, until interpenetrated with the particular ideal of that sect. After a few years he would go to another sect. When he had gone through all that, he came to the conclusion that they were all good. He had no criticism to offer to any one, they are all so many paths leading to the same goal. And then he said, “That is a Glorious thing that there should be so many paths because if there were only one path parbaps it would suit only an individual man. The more the number of paths the more the chance for everyone of us to know the truth. If I cannot be taught in one language, I will try another, and so on.” Thus his benediction was for every religion.

I remember vividly my first visit to him. It was at the temple garden at Dakshineshwar in his own room. That day I sang two songs. He went into Samadhi. He said to Ram Babu, “Who is this boy? How well tie sings!” He asked me to come again.

Well, I sang the song, but shortly after, he suddenly rose and taking me by the hand led me to the northern verandah, shutting the door behind him. It was locked from the outside; so we were alone. I thought he would give me some private instructions. But to my utter surprise he began to shed profuse tears of joy as he held my hand, and addressing me most tenderly as one long familiar to him, said “Ah, you come so late! How could you be so unkind as to keep me waiting so long! My ears are  well-nigh burnt listening to the profane talks of worldly people. Oh, how I yearn to unburden my mind to one who can appreciate my innermost experience!”.

Thus he went on amid sobs. The next moment he stood before me with folded hands and began to address me, “ Lord, I know that you are that ancient Sage, Nara, the Incarnation of Narayana – born on earth to remove the miseries of Mankind ” and so on!

I was altogether taken aback by his conduct. “Who is this man whom I have come to see ?” I thought, “ he must be stark mad. Why. I am but the son of Vishwanatha Dutta and yet he dares to address me thus!” But I kept quiet allowing him to go on. Presently he went back to his room, and bringing some sweets, sugar-candy and butter, began to feed me with his own hands. In vain did I say again and again, “ Please give the sweets to me. I shall share them with my friends !”. He simply said, “They may have some afterwards,” and desisted only after I had eaten all. Then he seized me by the hand and said, “Promise that you will come alone to me at an early date.” At his importunity I had to say “Yes”, and returned with him to my friends.

I sat and watched him. There was nothing wrong in his words, movements or behaviour towards others. Rather from his spiritual words and ecstatic states, he seemed to be a man of genuine renunciation, and there was a marked consistency between his words and life. He used the most simple language, and I thought, “ Can this man be a great teacher?” I crept near him and asked him the question which I had asked so often, – “Have you seen God Sir?” Yes, I see him just as I see you here, only in a much intenser sense.” “God can be realised”, he went on. “One can see and talk to Him as I am doing with you. But who cares to do so? People shed torrents of tears for their wife and children, for wealth or property, but who does so for the sake of God ? If one weeps sincerely for Him, He surely manifests Himself.” That impressed me at once. For the first time I found a man who dared to say that he had seen God, that religion was a reality to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world. As I heard these things from his lips, I could not but believe that he was saying them not like an ordinary preacher but from the depths of his own realisations. BuI could not reconcile his words with his strange conduct with me. So I concluded that he must be a monomaniac Yet I could not help acknowledging the magnitude of his renunciation. “He may be a madman,” I thought, “but only the fortunate few can have that renunciation. Even if insane, this man is the holiest of the holy, a true Saint and for that alone he deserves the reverential homage of mankind!” With such conflicting thoughts I bowed before him and begged his leave to return to Calcutta.

I went to see him next at Rajamohan’s house. The third visit was at Dakshineshwar again. During that visit he went into Samadhi, and began to praise me as if I were God. He said to me, ” O Narayana, you have asssumed this body for my sake! I asked the Divine Mother ” Mother, unless I enjoy the company of some genuine devotees completely free from “Woman and Gold” how , shall I live on earth?” Then he said to me “You came to see me at night, woke me up and said, Here I am !”

But I did not know anything of this. I was sound asleep in our Calcutta house.

I did not realise then that the temple garden of Dakshineshwar was so far from Calcutta, as on the previous occasion I had gone there in a carriage. The road seemed to be so long as to be almost endless. However, I reached the garden somehow, and went straight to Sri Ramkrishna’s room. I found him sitting alone on the bedstead. He was glad to see me and calling me affectionately to his side, made me sit beside him on his bed. But the next moment I found him overcome with a sort of emotion. Muttering something to himself, with his eyes fixed on me, he slowly drew near me. I thought he might do something queer as on the previous occasion. But in the twinkling of an eye be placed his right foot on my body. The touch at once gave rise to a novel experience within me. With my eyes open I saw that the walls and everything in the room, whirled rapidly and vanished into naught and the whole Universe together with my individuality was about to merge in an all-encompassing mysterious void! I was terribly frightened and thought that I was facing death, for the loss of individuality meant nothing short of that. Unable to control myself I cried out,” What is it that you are doing to me, – I have my parents at home.” He laughed at this and stroking my chest said, “ All right, let it rest now. Everything will come in time.” The wonder of it was that no sooner he had said this than that strange experience of mine vanished. I was myself again and found everything within and without the room as it had been before.

All this happened in less time than it takes me to narrate it, but it revolutionised my mind. Amazed I thought, “ What could it possibly be? It came and went at the mere wish of this wonderful man I began to question if it were mesmerism or hypnotism. But that was not likely, for these acted only on weak minds, and I prided myself on being just the reverse. I had not as yet surrendered myself, to the stronger personality of the man; rather I had taken him to be a monomaniac. So to what might this sudden transformation of mine be due?

I could not come to any conclusion. It was an enigma, I thought, which I had better not attempt to solve. I was determined, however, to be on my guard and not to give him another chance to exert similar influence over me.

The next moment I thought how can a man who shatters to pieces a resolute and strong mind like mine be dismissed as a lunatic ? Yet that was just the conclusion at which one would arrive from his effusiveness on our first meeting, unless he was an Incarnation of God, which was indeed a far cry. So, I was in dilemma about the real nature of my experience, as well as the truth about this wonderful man, who was obviously pure and simple as a child. My rationalistic mind received an unpleasant rebuff at this failure in judging the true state of things. But I was determined to fathom this mystery somehow.

Thoughts like these occupied my mind during the whole of that day. But he became quite another men after that incident, and as on the previous occasion treated me with great kindness and cordiality. His bebavioifr towards me was like that of a man who meets an old friend or relative after a long separation. He seemed not to be satisfied with entertaining and taking all possible care of me. This remarkably loving treatment drew me all the more to him. At last, finding that the day was coming to a close, I asked his leave to go. He seemed very much dejected at this and gave me his permission only after I had promised to come again at my earliest convenience.

One day in the temple garden of Dakshineshwar, Sri Ramakrishna touched me over the heart, and first of all I began to see that the houses, rooms, doors, windows, verandahs, the trees, the sun, the moon, all were flying off, shattering to pieces as it were, reduced to atoms and molecules, and ultimately became merged in the Akasha. Gradually again, the Akasha also vanished, and after that my consciousness of the ego with it, what happened next I do not recollect. I was at first frightened. Coming from that state, again I began to see the houses, doors, windows, verandahs, and other things. On another occasion I had exactly the same realisation by the side of a lake in America.

A derangement of the brain! How can you call it so, when it comes neither as the result of delirium from any disease nor as an illusion produced by various sorts of queer breathing exercises, – but when it comes to a normal man in full possession of his health and wits? Then again, this experience is in perfect harmony with the Vedas. It also coincides with the words of realisation of the inspired Rishis and Acharyas of old. Do you take me, at last, to be a crack-brained man?.

Know [that] this knowledge of oneness is what the Sastras speak of as realisation of the Brahman, by knowing which, one gets rid of fear, and the shackles of birth and death break for ever. Having once realised that supreme bliss, one is no more overwhelmed by pleasure and pain of this world.

That supreme bliss fully exists in all, from Brahman down to the blade of grass. Being again and again entangled in the intricate maze of delusion and hard chit by sorrows and afflictions, the eye will turn of itself to one’s own real nature, the inner self. It is owing to the presence of this desire for bliss in the heart, that man, getting hard shocks, one after another, turns his eyes inwards – to his own self. A time is sure to come to everyone, without exception, when he will do so, to one it may be in this life, to another, after thousands of incarnations.

Seeing that the Master gave no thought to himself on account of me, I did not hesitate on occasion to use harsh words about his blind love for me. I used to warn him, saying that if he constantly thought of me, he would become like me, even as King Bharata of the old legend, who so doted upon his pet deer that even at the time of death he was unable to think of anything else, and as a result, was born as a deer in his next life. At these words, the Master, so simple was he, became very nervous, and said, “What you say is quite true. What is to become of me, for I cannot bear to be separated from you?” Dejected, he went to the Kali temple. In a few minutes he returned smiling and said, “You rogue, I shall not listen to you any more. Mother says that I love you because I see the Lord in you, and the day I no longer do so, I shall not be able to bear even the sight of you.” With this short but emphatic statement he dismissed once for all everything that I had ever said to him on the subject.

One day he said to me, “You can see Krishna in your heart if you want.” I replied, “I don’t believe in Krishna or any such nonsense!”. Once I said to him, “The form qf God and things like that which you see in your visions are all figments of your imagination”. He had so much faith in my words that he went to the Divine Mother in the Temple and told Her what I had said to him. He asked Her, “Are these hallucinations then?” Afterwards he said to me, “Mother told me that all these are real”.

Again, he said to me, “When you sing. He who dwells here (touching his heart) like a snake, hisses as it were, and then spreading the hood, quietly hold himself steady and listens to your music”

He has no doubt said many things about me.

And how can Sri Ramakrishna’s words prove false?.

We (Sri Ramakrishna and I) talked of our revealed book, the Vedas, of the Bible, of the Quoran and of the revealed books in general. At the close of our talk this good man asked me to go to the shelf and take up book. It was a book which, among other things, contained forecast of the rainfall during the year. The sage said, “Read that”. And I read out the quantity of rain that was to fall. He said, “Now take the book and squeeze it”. I did so and he said, “Why my boy, note drop of water comes out. Until the water comes out it is all a book, book. So until your religion makes you realise God, it is useless. He who studies books only for religion reminds one of the fable of the ass which carried a heavy load of sugar on its back but did not know the sweetness of it.”

I did not believe in anything. At first I did not accept most of what the Master said. One day he asked me, “Then, why do you come here?.” I replied, “I come here to see you, not to listen to you”. He was very much pleased.

One day when I was alone with him, he said something to me. Nobody else was present. He said, “It is not possible for me to exercise occult powers, but I shall do so through you. What do you say?” “No”, I replied “you can’t do that!”

I used to laugh at his words. I told him that his vision of God was all hallucination of his mind.

He said to me, “I used to climb to the roof of the Kuthi and cry, “O, Devotees where are you all? come to me; O! Devotees, I am about to die. I shall certainly die if I do not see you. And the Divine Mother told me, ‘The devotees will come’. You see everything is turning out to be true.” What else could I say? • I kept quiet.

I used to follow my own whim in every thing I did. The Master never interfered. I became a member of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.

The master knew that women attended the meeting of the Brahmo Samaj. A man cannot meditate with women sitting in front of him, therefore he criticised the meditation of the Brahmo Samaj. But he didn’t object to my going there. But one day he said to me, “Don’t tell Rakhal about your being a member of the Brahmo Samaj, or he too will feel like becoming one.”

When I found that the master did not bestow that kind of grace on them (my friends) which he had done on me by accepting me and instructing me in religion, I used to ask him importunately to bestow it on them. On account of boyish frivolity, I became ready on many occasions to argue with him. I said, “Why Sir, God is indeed never so partial that He will bestow His grace on some and not on others. Why should you then not accept them as you have done me?. Is it not certain that one can attain spirituality and realise God if one wills and makes an effort just as one can become a learned Pandit if he puts forth an effort? The Master replied, “What can I do my child? Mother shows me that there is the beastly mental attitude of a bull in them they cannot realise spirituality in this life. What c^pl do? and what is it you say? Can anyone become what one wishes to in this life by mere will and effort?” But who lent an ear to the Master’s words then? I said, “What do you say, Sir? Can’t one become what one wishes to, if one wills and makes efforts? Surely one can. I cannot believe what you say about it.” At that also the Master said the same thing, “Whether you believe it or not, Mother shows me that.” I never accepted then what he said. But the more time passed on, fhe more did I understand from experience that what the master said was right, and what I thought was wrong.

One day as soon as I went to Dakshineshwar, the Master gave me those books (on non-dualism) to read, which he forbade others to. Amongst other books, a copy of Ashtavakra Samhita was in his room. When the master found anyone reading that book he would forbid him to do so and would give him instead such books as “Mukti and how to attain it,” “The Bhagavat Gita,” or some Purana. But scarcely had I gone to him when he took out the book and asked me to read it. Or, he would ask me to read some part of Adhyatma Ramayana which was full of non-dualistic ideas. I said, and sometimes in an outspoken way, “What is the use of reading this book? It is a sin even to think T am God’: the book teaches the same blasphemy. It should be burnt”. The Master smiled and said, “Do I ask you to read it to yourself? I ask you to read a little to me. Please do it. That being the case, you will not have to think that you are God”. So, I had to read a little for him at his request.

This magic touch of the Master that day immediately brought a wonderful change over my mind. I was stupified to find that really there was nothing in the Universe but God! I saw it quite clearly but kept silent to see if the idea would last. But the impression did not abate in the course of the day. I returned home, “but there too everything I saw appeared to be Brahman. I eat down to take my meal, but found that everything the food, the plate, the person who served and even myself was nothing but That. I ate a morsel or two and sat still. I was startled by my mother’s words, “Why do you sit still? – finish your meal,” and I began to eat again. But all the while whether eating or lying down or going to college, I had the same experience and felt myself always in a sort of comatose state. While walking in the streets, I noticed cabs plying, but I did not feel inclined to move out of the way. I felt that the cabs and myself were of one stuff. There was no sensation in my limbs which I thought were getting paralysed. I, did not relish eating, and felt as if somebody else were eating. Sometimes I lay down during a meal and after a few minutes got up and again began to eat. The result was that on some days I would take too much, but it did me no harm. My mother became alarmed and said that there must be something wrong with me. She was afraid that I might not live long. When the above state altered a little, the world began to appear to me as a dream. While walking in cornwallis Square, I would strike my head against the iron railings to see if they were real or only a dream. This state of thing continued for some days. When I became normal again I realised that I must have had a glimpse of the Advaita State. Then it struck me that the words of the scriptures were not false. Thenceforth I could not deny the conclusions of the Advaita Philosophy.

, For the first time I found a man who dared to say that he saw God, that religion was a reality, to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world. I began to go to that man, day after day; and I actually saw that religion could be given. One touch, one glance, can change a whole life. I have read about Buddha and Christ and Mohammed, about all those different lumanaries of ancient times; how they would stand up and say, “Be thou whole,” and the man became whole. I now find it to be true and when I myself saw this man, all scepticism was brushed aside. It could be done and my master used to say, “Religion can be given and taken more tangibly, more really than anything else in the world.”

The second idea that I learned from my master, and which is perhaps the most vital, is the wonderful truth that the religions of the world are not contradictory or antagonistic; they are but various phases of one Eternal Religion; that one Eternal Religion, as applied to different planes of existence is applied to the opinions of various minds and various races.

Devotion as taught by Narada, he used to preach to the masses, those who were incapable of any higher training. He used generally to teach dualism. ,As a rule, he never taught Advaitism. But he taught it to me. I had been a Dualist before.

Sri Ramakrishna once told me that not one in twenty millions in this world believe in God. I asked him why, and he told me “Suppose there is a thief in this room and he gets to know that there is a mass of gold in the next room, and only a very thin partition between the rooms, what will be the condition of that thief”? I answered, “he will not be able to sleep at all. His brain will be actively thinking of some means of getting at the gold and he will think of nothing else”. Then he replied “Do you bglieye that a man could believe in God and not go mad to get Him? If a man sincerely believes that there is that immense, infinite mine of bliss, and that it can be reached, would not that man go mad in his struggles to reach it? Strong faith in God and the consequent eagerness to reach Him constitute Sraddha.”

One day at that time I spent a night with the Master at Dakshineshwar. I was sitting quiet for some time under the Panchavati, when the Master suddenly came there and catching hold of my hand, said smiling. “Your intellect and learning will be examined today; you have passed two and a half examinations1 only. A teacher who has passed three and a half has come today. Come, Idt me see how you fare in conversation with him”. Nolens Volens, I had to go with the Master. When I reached his room and was introduced to M. (Mahendra Nath Gupta) I began to talk with him on various subjects. Having thus engaged us in a talk, the Master sat silent and went on listening to our words and observing us. Afterwards, when Sri M. took leave and went away, he said, “What matters it, even if he has passed those examinations? The teacher is womanish in charcater – shy. He cannot talk with emphasis”. Thus putting me against others, the Master enjoyed the fun.

(Shortly after meeting the Master)I might not have gained anything else by this practice of religion (shortly after I had met the Master), but it is certain that I have gained control over my terrible anger by His grace. Formerly I used to lose all control over myself in rage and was seized with repentance afterwards. But, now if anyone does me a great harm or even beats me severely, I don’t become so very angry.

One day during one of my early visits, the Master in an ecstatic mood said to me, “You have come!” “How amazing”, I said to myself, “it is as if he had known me for a long time”. Then he said to me, “Do you ever see light”? I replied, “Yes, Sir, before I fall asleep I feel something like a light revolving near my forehead.”

I used to see it frequently. In Jadu Mallick’s garden house the Master one day touched me and murmured something to himself. I became unconscious. The effects of the touch lingered with me a month like an intoxication

When he heard that a proposal had been made about my marriage, he wept, holding the feet of the image of Kali. With tears in his eyes he prayed to the Divine Mother, “O Mother!, please upset the whole thing, don’t let Narendra be drowned”.

One day grandmother overheard my Master speaking in my room about the efficacy of a celibate life. She told of this to my parents. They became greatly concerned lest I should renounce the world, and were increasingly anxious that I should marry. My mother was especially fearful lest that I should leave the family to take upon myself the vows of a monastic life. She often spoke of the matter to me, but I would give a casual reply. But all their plannings for my marriage were frustrated by the strong will of the Master. On one occasion all negotiations of marriage were settled, when a petty difference of opinion arose and the engagement was broken.

It is impossible to give others any idea of the ineffable joy we derived from the presence of the Master. It is really beyond our understanding how he could train us, without our knowing it, through fun and play, and thus mould our spiritual life. As the master wrestler proceeds with great caution and restraint with the beginner, now overpowering him in the struggle with great difficulty as it were, again allowing himself to be defeated to strengthen the pupil’s selfconfidence—in exactly the same manner did Sri Ramakrishna handle us. Realizing that the Atman, the source of infinite strength, exists in every individual, pigmy though he might be, he was able to see the potential giant in all. He could clearly discern the latent spiritual power which would in the fullness of time manifest itself. Holding up that bright picture to view, he would speak highly of us and encourage us. Again he would warn us lest we should obstruct this future consummation by becoming entangled in worldly desires, and moreover, he would keep us under control by carefully observing even the minute details of our life. All this was done silently and unobtrusively. That was the secret of his training of the disciples and of his moulding of their lives.

After my father’s death my mother and my brothers were starving. When the master met AanandaGuha one day, he said to him, “Narendra’s father has died. His family is in a state of privation. It would be good if his friends helped him now with money.

After Ananda had left, I scolded him. I said, “Why did you say all these things to him”? Thus rebuked, he wept and said, “Alas! for your sake I could beg from door to door.” He tamed us by his love.

Even before the period of mourning (after my father’s death) was over I had to knock about in search of a job. Starving and barefooted I wandered from office to office under the scorching noon-day sun with an application in my hand; one or two intimate friends, who sympathised with me in my misfortunes, accompanying me sometimes. But everywhere the door was slammed in my face. This first contact with the reality of life convinced me that unselfish sympathy was a rarity in the world. There was no place in it for the weak, the poor and the destitute. I noticed that those who only a few days ago would have been proud to help me in any way, now turned their face against me, though they had enough and to spare. Seeing all this, the world sometimes seemed to me to be the handiwork of the devil. One day, weary and footsore, I sat down in the shade of the Ochterlony monument in the Maidan. Some friends of mine happened to be there, one of whom sang a song about the overflowing grace of God, perhaps to comfort me. It was like a terrible blow on my head. I remembered the helpless condition of my mother and brothers, and exclaimed in bitter anguish and despondency, “Will you please stop that song? such fancies may be pleasing to those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have no starving relatives at home. Yes, there was a time when I too thought like that. But today, before the hard facts of life, it sounds like grim mockery.” My friend must have been woundedHow could he fathom the dire misery that had forced these words out of my mouth ? Some times when I found that there were not enough provisions for the family and my purse was empty, I would pretepd to my mother that I had an invitation to dine out and remain practically without food. Out of self-respect I could not disclose the fact to others. My rich friends sometimes requested me to come to their homes and gardens to sing. I had to comply when I could not avoid it. I did not feel inclined to express my woes before them nor did they try themselves to find out my difficulties. A few among them sometimes used to ask me, “Why do you look so pale and weak today?” Only one of them came to know about my poverty without my knowledge, and now and then sent anonymous help to my mother by which act of kindness he put me under a deep debt of gratitude.

Some of my old friends who earned their livelihood by unfair means asked me to join them. A few among them who had been compelled to follow this dubious way of life by sudden turns of fortune, as in my case, really felt sympathy for me. There were other troubles also. Various temptations came in my way. A rich woman sent me an ugly proposal to end my days of penury which I sternly rejected with scorn. Another woman also made similar overtures to me. I said to her “You have wasted your life, seeking the pleasures of the flesh. The dark shadows of death are before you. Have you done anything to face that ? Give up all these filthy desires and remember God.”

In spite of all these troubles, however, I never lost faith in the existence of God nor in His Divine Mercy.

Every morning taking His name I got up and went out in search of a job. One day my mother overheard me and said bitterly, “Hush you fool, you are crying yourself hoarse for God from your childhood, and what has He done for you?” I was stung to the quick. Doubt crossed my mind, “Does God really exist?” I thought, “and if so does He really hear the fervent prayer of man? Then why is there so much woe in His benign Kingdom?

Why does Satan rule in the realm of Merciful God?” Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s words, ‘If God is good and gracious, why then do millions of people die for want of a few morsels of food at times of famine V rang in my ears with bitter irony. I was exceedingly cross with God. It was also the most opportune moment for doubt to creep into my heart.

It was ever against my nature to do anything secretly. On the contrary it was a habit with me from my boyhood not to hide, even my thoughts from others through fear or anything else. So it was quite natural for me now to proceed to prove before the world that God was a myth or that even if He existed, to call upon Him was fruitless. Soon the report gained currency that I was an atheist and did not scruple to drink or even frequent houses of ill fame. This unmerited calumny hardened my heart still more. I openly declared that in this .miserable world there was nothing reprehensible in a man, who seeking for a brief respite, would resort to anything. Not only that, but if I was once convinced of the efficacy of such a course I would not, through fear of anybody, shrink from following it.

It was ever against my nature to do anything secretly. On the contrary it was a habit with me from my boyhood not to hide even my thoughts from others through fear or anything else. So it was quite natural for me now to proceed to prove to the world that God was a myth, or that, even if He existed, to call upon Him was fruitless. Soon the report gained currency that I was an atheist and did not scruple to drink or even frequent houses of ill fame. This unmerited calumny hardened my heart still more. I openly declared that in this miserable world there was nothing reprehensible in a man who, seeking for a brief respite, should resort to anything; not only that, but that if I was once convinced of the efficacy of such a course, I should not, through fear of anybody, shrink from following it.

But notwithstanding these forced atheistic views, the vivid memory of the Divine Visions I had experienced since my boyhood, and especially after my contact with Sri Ramakrishna, would lead me to think that God must exist and there must be some way to realise Him. Otherwise life would be meaningless. In the midst of all troubles and tribulations I must find that way. Days passed, and the mind continued to waver between doujbt and certainty. My pecuniary wants also remained just the same.

The summer was over, and the rains set in. The search for a job still went on. One evening, after a whole day’s fast and exposure to rain I was returning home with tired limbs and a jaded mind and overpowered with exhaustion and unable to move a step forward, I sank down on the outer plinth of a house on the roadside.

I can’t say whether I was insensible for a time or not. Various thoughts crowded in my mind and I was too weak to drive them off and fix my attention on a particular thing. Suddenly I felt as if by some Divine Power the coverings of my soul were removed one after another. All my former doubts regarding the co-existence of Divine Justice and Mercy and the presence of misery in the creation of a Blissful Providence, were automatically solved. By a deep introspection I found the meaning of it all and was satisfied. As I proceeded homewards I found there was no trace of fatigue in the body and the mind was refreshed with wonderful strength and peace. The night was well-nigh over.

Henceforth I became deaf to the praise and blame of worldly people. I was convinced that I was not born like others to earn money and maintain my family much less to strive for sense pleasures. I began secretly to prepare to renounce the world like my grandfather. I fixed a day for the purpose and was glad to hear that the Master was to come to Calcutta that very day. “It is lucky ” I thought; “I shall leave the world with the blessings of my Guru”. As soon as I met the Master he pressed me hard to spend that night with him at Dakshineshwar. I made various excuses, but to no purpose. I had to accompany him. There was not much talk in the carriage. Reaching Dakshineshwar I was seated for some time in his room along with others, when he went into a trance. Presently he drew near me and touching me with great tenderness, began to sing a song, with tears in his eyes. I had repressed my feelings so long but they now overflowed in tears. The meaning of the song was too apparent. He knew of my intentions. The audience marvelled at the exchange of feeling between us. When the Master regained his normal mood, some of them asked the reason of it, and he replied with a smile, “Oh,it was something between him and me!” Then at night he dismissed the others and calling me to his side said, “I know you have come for the Mother’s work and won’t be able to remain in the world. But for my sake, stay as long as I live.” Saying this he burst into tears again. The next day with his permission I returned home. A thousand thoughts about the maintenance of the family assailed me. I began to look about again for a living.

By working in an attorney’s office and translating a few books, I got just enough means to live from hand to mouth, but it was not permanent and there was no fixed income to maintain my mother and brothers.

One day the idea struck me that God listened to Sri Ramakrishna’s prayers. So why should I not ask him to pray for me for the removal of my pecuniary wants, a favour the master would never deny me. I hurried to Dakshineshwar and insisted on his making the appeal on behalf of my starving family. He said, “ My boy, I can’t make such demands. But why don’t you go and ask the Mother yourself ? All your sufferings are due to your disregard of Her.” I said, “ I do not know the mother, you speak to Her on my behalf. You must.” He replied tenderly, “ My dear boy, I have done so again and again. But you do not accept Her, so she does not grant my prayer. All right, it is Tuesday-go to the Kali temple to night, prostrate yourself before the mother and ask Her any boon you like. It shall be granted. She is knowledge Absolute, the Inscrutable Power of Brahman and by Her mere will she has given birth to this world. Everything is in Her power to give”. I believed every word and eagerly waited for the night. About 9 O’ Clock, the Master commanded me to go to the temple. As I went I was filled with a Divine intoxication. My feet were unsteady. My heart was leaping in anticipation of the joy of beholding the living Goddess and hearing Her words. I was full of the idea. Reaching the temple as I cast my eyes upon the image, I actually found that the Divine Mother was living and conscious, the Perennil Fountain of Divine Love and Beauty. I was caught in a surging wave of devotion and love. In an ecstacy of joy I prostrated myself again and again before the Mother arid prayed, ‘‘Mother, give me discrimination! Give me renunciation give me knowledge and devotion, grant that I may have an uninterrupted vision of Thee!” A serene peace reigned in my soul. The world was forgotten. Only the Divine Mother shone within my heart.

As soon as I returned, Sri Ramakrishna asked me if I had prayed to the Mother for a removal of my worldly wants. I was startled at this question and said, “No, Sir; I forgot all about it. But is there any remedy now?” “Go again,” said he, “and tell Her about your wants”. I again set out for the temple, but at the sight of the Mother again forgot my mission, bowed to Her repeatedly and prayed only for love and devotion. The Master asked if I had done it the second time. I told him what had happened. He said, “How thoughtless! couldn’t you restrain yourself enough to say those few words? Well try once more and make that prayer to Her. Quick ! I went for the third time, but on entering the temple a terrible shame overpowered me. I thought, “What a trifle have I come to pray to the Mother about! It is like asking a gracious king for a few vegetables! What a fool I am! In shame and remorse I bowed to Her respectfully and said, “Mother, I want nothing but knowledge and devotion”. Coming out of the temple I understood that all this was due to Sri Ramakrishna’s will. Otherwise how could I fail in my object no less than thrice? I came to him and said “Sir, it is you who have cast a charm over my mind and made me forgetful. Now please grant me, the boon that my people at home may no longer suffer the pinch of poverty!’’ He said, “Such a prayer never comes from my lips. I asked you to pray for yourself, but you couldn’t do it. It appears that you are not destined to enjoy worldly happiness. Well, I can’t help it.’’ But I wouldn’t let him go. I insisted on his granting that prayer at last he said, “All right, your people at home will never be in want of plain food and clothing.”

Sri Ramakrishna was the only person who ever since he had met me believed in me uniformly throughout. Even my Mother and brothers did not do so. It was his unflinching trust and love for me that bound me to him for ever. He alone knew how to love one another’ Worldly people only make a show of love for selfish ends.

It is impossible to give others even an idea of the inneffable joy we derived from the presence of the Master. It is really beyond our understanding how he would give us training, though unconsciously on our part, through fun and play and thus mould our spiritual life. As the master athlete proceeds with great caution and restraint with the beginner, now overpowering him in the struggle with great difficulty, as it were, again owning defeat at bis hands to strengthen his spirit of self-reliance; in exactly the same manner did Sri Ramakrishna treat us. Realising that in all exists the Atman which is the source of infinite strength, in every individual, pigmy though he might be, he was able to see the potential giant. He could clearly discern the latent spiritual power which would in the fulness of time manifest itself. Holding that bright picture before us, he would speak highly of us and encourage us. Again, he would warn us lest we should frustrate this future consummation by becoming entangled in worldly desires, and further, he would keep us under control by carefully observing even the minute details of our life. All this was done silently and unobtrusively. That was the great secret of his training of the disciples and moulding of their lives^/Once I felt that I could not practice deeper concentration in medication. I told him of it and sought his advice and direction. He told me his personal experiences in the matter and gave me instructions. I remember that as I sat down to meditate during the early hours of the morning, my mind would be disturbed and diverted by the shrill note of the whistle of a neighbouring jute mill. I told him about it and he advised me to concentrate my mind on the very sound of the whistle. I followed his advice and derived from it much benefit. On another occasion I felt great difficulty in totally forgetting my body during meditation and concentrating the mind wholly on the ideal. I went to him for counsel and he gave me the very instruction which he himself had received from Tota Puri while practising Samadhi at the time of his Vedantic Sadhana.

He sharply pressed between my two eyebrows with his finger nail and said, “Now concentrate your mind on this painful sensation!”As a result I found I could concentrate the mind easily on that sensation as long as I liked and during that period, I completely forgot the consciousness of other parts of my body, not to speak of their causing any distraction in the way of my meditation. The solitude of the Panchavati, associated with the various spiritual realisations of the Master, was also the suitable place for our meditation. Besides, meditation and spiritual exercises, we used to spend a good deal of time there in sheer fun and merry-making. Sri Ramakrishna also joined with us and by taking a part enhanced our innocent pleasure. We used to run and skip about, climb on the trees, swing from the creepers and at times hold merry picnics.

On the first day of the picnic the Master noticed that I myself had cooked the food and he partook of it. I knew that he could not take food unless it was cooked by Brahmins, and, therefore, I had arranged for his meal at the Kali Temple. But he said, “It won’t be wrong for me to take food from such a pure soul like yourself! Inspite of my repeated remonstrations, he enjoyed the food cooked by me that day.

He loved me so much! But whenever an impure idea crept into my mind, he at once knew it. While going round with Annada, sometimes I found myself in the company of evil people. On those occasions, the Master could not eat any food from my hands. He could raise his hand only a little but could not bring it to his mouth. On one such occasion, while he was ill he brought his hand very close to his mouth, but it did not go in. He said to me, “You are not yet ready.”

How many times he prayed to the Divine Mother for my sake! After my father’s death when I had no food at home, and my mother and sisters and brothers were starving too, the Master prayed to the Divine Mother to give me money. But I didn’t get any money. The Master told me what the Divine Mother had said to him: “He would get simple food and clothing.”

How I used to hate Kali and all Her ways! That was the ground of my six years’ fight – that I could not accept Her. But I had to accept Her at last! Rama-krishna Paramahamsa dedicated me to Her, and I now believe that She guides me in everything I do, and does with me what She will–* Yet I fought so long! I loved him (the Master) you see, and that was what held me, I saw his marvellous purity… I felt his wonderful love. His greatness had not dawned on me then. All that came afterwards, when I had given in. At that time I thought him a brain-sick baby, always seeing visions and the rest. All that I hated. And then I too had to accept Her !

No, the thing that made me do it is a secret which will die;with me. I had great misfortunes at that time… It was an opportunity… She made a slave of me. Those were the very words – “a slave of you.” And Ramakrishna Paramahamsa made me over to Her…

Strange! He lived only two years after doing that, and most of the time he was suffering. Not more than six months did he keep his own health and brightness.

Indeed, I was, in a fix in trying to explain to the Master one day the meaning of ‘blind faith’. I could find no [meaning for the expression. I gave up using that phrase since then, as I was convinced of the truth of the Master’s contention.

Let none regret that they were difficult to convince! I fought my Master for six years with the result that I know every inch of the way! Every inch of the way! You see my devotion is the dog’s devotion. I have been wrong so often and he has always been right, and now I trust his judgement blindly

Oct 27, 1885: We think of him (Sri Ramakrishna) as a person who is like God. Do you know what it is like ? There is a point between the vagetable creation and the animal creation where it is very difficult to determine whether a particular thing is a vegetable or an animal. Likewise, there is a stage between the man-world and the God-world where it is extremly hard to say whether a person is a man or a God. I do not say he is God. What I am saying is that he is a God-like man. We offer worship to him bordering on divine worship.

4 January 1886: I have been thinking of going there (to Dakshineshwar) today. I intend to light a fire under the bel-tree and meditate. I shall feel greatly relieved if I find a medicine that will make me forget all I have studied.

I was meditating here (Cossipore garden-house where the Master was then staying for health reasons) last Saturday when suddenly I felt a peculiar sensation in my heart.

Probably, it was the awakening of the Kundalini. I clearly perceived the Ida and the Pingala nerves. I asked Hazra to feel my chest. Yesterday I saw him (Sir Ramakrishna) upstairs and told him about it. I said to him, “All the others have had their realisation, please give me some. All have succeeded; shall I alone remain unsatisfied?” He said, “Why don’t you settle yqur family affairs first and then come to me? You will get.everything. What do you want?” I replied, “It is my desire to remain absorbed in Samadhi continually for three or four days, only once in a while coming down to the sense plane to eat a little food.” Thereupon he said to me, “You are a very small-minded person. There is a state higher even than that (Samadhi). ’All that exists art Thou’, it is you who sing that song f Settle your family affairs and then come to me. You will attain a state higher than Samadhi”. I went home. My people scolded me saying, “Why do you wander about like a vagabond? Your law examination is near at hand, and you are not paying any attention to your studies. You wander about aimlessly.” My mother did not say anything. She was eager to feed me. She gave me venison. I ate a little, though I didn’t feel like eating meat.

I went to my study at my grandmother’s. As I tried to read I was seized with a great fear, as if studying were ,a terrible thing. My heart struggled within me. I burst into tears; I never wept so bitterly in my life. I left my books and ran away. I ran along the streets. My shoes slipped from my feet – I didn’t know where. I ran past haystack and got hay all over me. I kept on running along the road to Cossipore.

Since reading the Vivekachudamani I have felt very much depressed. In it Sankaracharya says that only through great tapasya and good fortune does one acquire these three things : a human birth, the desire for liberation, and refuge with a great soul. I said to myself :‘I have surely gained all these three. As a result of great tapasya, I have been born a human being; through great tapasya, again, I have the desire for liberarion; and through great tapasya, I have secured the companionship of such a great soul.1

Has anybody seen God as I see that tree? Sri Ramakrishna’s experience may be his hallucination. I want truth. The other day I had a great argument with Sri Ramakrishna himself. He said to me, “Some people call me God”. I replied, “Let a thousand people call you God, but I shall certainly not call you God as long as I do not know it to be true”. He said, “Whatever many people say is indeed truth; that is dharma.” Thereupon, I replied, “Let others proclaim a thing as truth, but I shall certainly not listen to them unless I myself realize it as truth.”

April 231886: How amazing it is ! One learns hardly anything, though one reads book for many years. How can a man realise God by practising Sadhana for two or three days ? Is it easy to realise God ? I have no peace.

Staying in the Cossipore garden, Sri Ramakrishna said to us, “The Divine Mother showed me that all of these are not my inner devotees.” Sri Ramakrishna said so, that day, with respect to both his men and women devotees.

Once I came to know about my true Self in Nirvi-kalpa Samadhi at the Cossipore garden-house. In that experience, I felt that I had no body. I could see only my face. The Master was in the upstairs room. I had that experience downstairs. I was weeping. I said, ”What has happened to me?’’ The elder Gopal went to the Master’s room and said, “Naren is crying.” When I saw the Master he said to me, “Now you have known. But, I am going to keep the key with me”. I said to him “What is it that happened to me?” Turning to the devotees, he said, “He will not keep his body if he knows who he is. But I have put a veil over his eyes.”

One day, in Cossipore garden, I had expressed my prayer to Sri Ramakrishna with great earnestness, Then, in the evening, at the hour of meditation, I lost the consciousness of the body, and felt that it was absolutely non-existent. I felt that sun, moon, space, time, ether and all that melted far away into the unknown; the body consciousness had almost vanished, and I had nearly merged in the Supreme. But I had just a trace of the feeling of Ego, so I could again return to the world of relativity from the Samadhi. In this statd of Samadhi all the differences between T and ‘Brahman’ go away; everything is reduced to unity, like the waters of the Infinite Ocean, – water everywhere, nothing else exists -language and thought, all fail there.

After that experience, even after trying repeatedly, I failed to bring back the state of Samadhi. On informing Sri Ramakrishna about it, he said, “If you remain day and night in that state, the work of the Divine Mother will not be accomplished; therefore, you won’t be able to induce that state again; when your work is finished, it will come again!”

Sri Ramakrishna used to say that Avataras alone can descend to the ordinary plane from that state of Samadhi, (or the good of the world. Ordinary jivas do not; immersed in that state, they remain alive for a period of 21 days; after that, their body drops like a sere leaf from the tree of Samsara.

All the philosophy and scriptures have come from the plane of relative knowledge of subject and object. But, no thought or language of the human mind can fully express the Reality which lies beyond the plane of relative knowledge ! Science, Philosophy, etc. are only partial truth; so, they can never be the adequate channels of expression for the transcendent reality. Hence, viewed from the transcendent standpoint, everything appears to be unreal – religious creeds and works, I and thou, and the universe – everything is unreal! Then only it is perceived that I am the only reality – ‘I am the all – pervading Atman and I am the proof of my own existence ! Where is the room for a separate proof to establish the reality of my existence ? I am, as the scriptures says,    – always known to myself as the eternal subject. I have actually seen that state, realised it.

It happened when I used to meditate before a lighted fire under a tree at the Cossipore garden house. One day, while meditating, I asked Kali (later Abhedananda) to hold my hand. Kali said to me, “When I touched your body, I felt someting like an electric shock coming to my body.”

[One day Sri Ramakrishna wrote on a piece of paper, “Naren will teach people. ”] But I said to him, “I won’t do any such thing.” Thereupon he said, “Your very bones will do it.

Now all the ideas that I preach are only an attempt to echo his (Sri Ramakrishna’s) ideas. Nothing is mine originally. Every word that I have ever uttered which is true and good is simply an attempt to echo his voice. Read his life by Prof. Max Muller.

Well, there at his feet I conceived these ideas — there, with some other young men. I was just a boy. I went there (to Sri Ramakrishna) when I was about sixteen* Some of the other boys were still younger, some a little older — about a dozen or more. And together we concaved that this ideal had to be spread. And not only spre#d^ but made practical. That is to say, we must show the spirituality of the Hindus, the mercifulness of the Buddhists, the activity of the Christians, the brotherhood of the Mahommedans, by our practical lives. “We shall start a universal religion now and here,” he said, “we will not wait.”

Our teacher was an old man who could never touch a coin with his hands. He took just the little food offered, just so many yards of cotton cloth, no more. He could never be induced to take any other gift. With all these marvellous ideas, he was strict, because that made him free. The monk in India is the friend of the prince today, dines with him; and tomorrow he is with the beggar^ sleeps under a tree.

He (our teacher) used to call me Narayan and he loved me intensely, which made many quite jealous of me. He knew one’s character by sight, and never changed his opinion. He could perceive, as it were, supersensual things, while we try to know one’s character by reason, with the result that our judgements are often fallacious. He called some persons his Antarangas or belonging to the 1 inner circle and he used to teach them the secrets of his own nature and those of yoga. To the outsiders or Bahirangas, he taught those parables now known as ‘Sayings.’ He used to prepare those youngmen (the former class ) for his work, and though many complained to him about them, he paid no heed. I may have perhaps a better opinion of a Bahiranga than an Antaranga though his actions, but I have a superstitious regard for the Jatter. “ Love me, love my dog,” as they say. I love that Brahmin priest. ( our teacher) intensely, and, therefore, love whatever he used to love, whatever he used to regard! He was afraid about me that I might create a sect, if left to myself.

He used to say to some, “ You will not attain spirituality in this life. He sensed everything, and this will explain his apparent partiality to some. He as a scientist, used to see that different people required different treatment . None except the “ inner circle ” were allowed to sleep in his room. It is not true that those who have not seen him will not attain salvation; neither is it true that a man who has seen him thrice will attain Mukti.

It has become a trite saying that idolatry is wrong, and every man swallows it at the present time without questioning. I once thought so, and to pay the penalty of that, I had to learn my lesson sitting at the feet of a man who realized everything through idols; I allude to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, my teacher, my master, my hero, my ideal, my God in life.

Despite the many iniquities that have found entrance into the practices of image-worship as it is in vogue now.

I do not condemn it. Aye, where would I have been if I had not been blessed with the dust of the holy feet of that orthodox, image- worshipping Brahmin !

When my Master, Sri Ramakrishna, fell ill, a Brahmin suggested to him that he apply his tremendous mental power to cure himself; he said that if my Master would only concentrate his mind on the diseased part of the body it would heal. Sri Ramakrishna answered, ” What! bring down the mind that I have given to God; to this little body ?” He refused to think of body and illness. His mind was continually conscious of God; it was dedicated to him utterly. He would not use it for any other purpose.

Am I able to sit quiet ? Two or three days before Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away, She whom he used to call ‘ Kali ‘ entered this body ( of mine ). It is She who takes me here and there and makes me work; without letting me remain quiet, or allowing me to look to my personal comforts.

No, I am not speaking metaphorically. Two or three days before his leaving the body, he called me to his side one day, and asking me to sit before him, looked steadfastly at me and fell into Samadhi. Then. I really felt that a subtle force like an electric shock was entering my body! In a little while, I also lost outward consciousness and sat motionless. How long I stayed in that condition I do not remember; when consciousness returned I found Sri Ramakrishna shedding tears. On questioning him, he answered me affectionately, ” Today, giving you my all, I have become a beggar. With this power, you are to do many works for the world’s good before you return,’

Yes, Sri Ramakrishna did say out of his own lips that he was God, the all-perfect Brahman, so many times* And he said this to all of us. One day while he was staying at the Cossipore garden, his body in imminent danger of {ailing off for ever, by the side of his bed I was saying in my mind, “Well, now if you can declare that you are God, then only will I belive you are really God Himself 

It was only two days before be passed away. Immediately he looked upwards, all on a sudden and said, ‘He who was Rama, He who was Krishna, verily is He now Ramakrishna in this body. And that not from the standpoint of your Vedanta !’ At this, I was struck dumb. Even we haven’t had yet the perfect faith, after hearing it again and again from the holy lips of our Lord himself—our minds still get disturbed now and then with doubt and despair — and so, what shall we speak of others being slow to believe ? It is indeed a very difficult matter to be able to declare and believe a man with a body like ours to be a God Himself. We may just go the length of declaring him to be “a perfected one”, or “a knower of Brahman”. Well, it matters nothing, whatever you may call him and think of him, a Saint or a Knower of Brahman. Never did come to this earth such an all-perfect man as Sri Ramakrishna ! In the utter darkness of the world, this great man is like the shining pillar of illumination in this age I And by his light alone will man now cross the ocean of Samsara!

Never during his life did he (Sri Ramakrishna) refuse a single prayer of mine; millions of offences has he forgiven me; such great love even my parents never had for me. There is no poetry, no exaggeration in all this. It is the bare truth and every disciple of his knows it. In times of great danger, great temptation, I have wept in extreme agony with the prayer, 4lO God, do save me. and no response has come from anybody; but this wonderful saint, or Avatara or anything that he may be, has come to know of all my affliction through his powers ot insight into human hearts and has lifted it off – in spite of my desire to the contrary – after getting me brought to his presence … Him alone I have found in this world to be like an ocean of unconditioned mercy.

Time and again, have I received in this life the marks of his grace. He stands behind and gets all the work done by me. When lying helpless under a tree in an agony of hunger, when I had not even a scrap of cloth for kaupin when I was resolved on travelling penniless round the world, even then help came in, always by the grace of Sri Ramakrishna. And again when crowds jostled with one another in the streets of Chicago to have sight of this Vivekananda, then also I could digest without difficulty all the honours – a hundredth part of which would have been enough to turn mad an ordinary man – because I had his grace, and by his will, victory followed everywhere.

He (Sri Ramakrishna) was all Bhakti without, but within he was all Jnana; I am all Jnana without, but within my heart, it is all Bhakti. All that has been weak has been mine. All that has been life-giving, strengthening pure and bold, has been his inspiration, his words and he himself.

If there has been anything achieved by me, by thoughts, or words, or deeds, if from my lips has ever alien one word that has helped anyone in the world, I lay no claim to it; it was his. But if there have been curses falling from my lips, if there has been hatred coming out of me, it is all mine and not his.

Sri Ramakrishna himself is his own parallel. Has he any exemplar? Truly. I tell you, I have understood him (Sri Ramakrishna) very little. He appears to me to have been so great that whenever I have to speak anything about him, I am afraid lest I should ignore or explain away the truth, lest my little power should not suffice, lest in trying to extol him I should present his picture by painting him according to my lights and be little him thereby!

Sri Ramakrishna’s was a different case. What comparison can there be between him and ordinary men ? He practised in his life all the different ideals of religions to show that each of them leads but to the, One Truth Shall you or I ever be able to do all that he has done? None of us has understood him fully, So I do not venture to speak about him anywhere and everywhere. He only knows what he really was; his frame was a human one only, but everything else about him was entirely different from others.

The fact is that Sri Ramakrishna is not exactly what the ordinary followers have comprehended him to be. He had infinite moods and phases. Thousands of Vive-kanandas may spring forth through one gracious glance of his eyes! But instead of doing that he has chosen to get things done this time through me as bis single instrument and what can I do in this matter ?

Verily, verily, I say unto you he who wants Him finds Him.

Go and verify it in your life. Try for three days, try with genuine earnestness and you are sure to succeed.


To be good and to do good – that is the whole of religion. !



Narendranath was then studying for his BA. Examination and Sri M, had passed that examination and was studying Law (BL). The Master put these facts in that way.