After years of pursuits, when a devotee of Sri Krsna closes his eyes, Sri Krsna appears before him in his Ajna Cakra i.e. third eye. When a Bhagavana Buddha-devotee closes his eyes Bhagavana Buddha appears before him. When a Bhagavana Mahavira-devotee closes his eyes, Bhagavana Mahavira appears before him. When a Christian closes his eyes, Christ appears before him. However, Sri Krsna does not appear before a Christian, Bhagavana Mahavira does not appear before a Buddhist or Bhagavana Buddha does not appear before a Jain….
It is only the image of Dhyana that appears before the devotee because Cetana is always, all alone and absolute. It is never accompanied by any false image. This is the state of Samprajnata Samadhi.
Swami Ramakrsna (SR hereafter) loved and adored Ma Kali yet he always found the experience to be dual in nature. How to attain non-duality was an agonising issue before him. Ever dissatisfied with constant failure, he requested a non-dualist Vedantista, Swami Totapuri (ST hereafter) to guide him in this regard who happened to drop by as if at the behest of Ma Kali.
ST instructed SR to pick up a sword and cleave the image of Ma Kali as soon as She appeared before him. SR was again clueless as to where from the sword would appear !! “From the same place, from where you bring Her image !” responded ST, “it is years of nurturing that has led you to such a false state of dual Cetana.” Raising a sword to slay Ma Kali was too much for SR to carry out. He found it much more difficult an option than renouncing the whole world. Even the thought of it left him miserable with copious tears, trembling in all his limbs as if it was now the end of his world.
Days passed. When ST was finally fed up with it, he warned SR to leave him for the better if he does not attempt to slay the image of Ma Kali with an imaginary sword. He had no more patience to carry on with that “nonsense”, so stated ST. SR then, tried again. As soon as he was about to become ecstatic with the image, ST nicked his forehead with a piece of glass to disrupt the ecstasy. When blood started streaming out, with the bliss disrupted, SR finally picked up the sword and slew Her into two. As soon as Ma Kali fell apart, he became Advaita. Individualism of wave / river disappeared into the infinite ocean of Param Cetana. He remained immersed for almost six days after this slaying to attain Vedantism with no consciousness of the external world, appetite or any other event outside. All was lost somewhere. That is the state of Asamprajnata Samadhi.
When he woke up after six days or so, he just barely uttered, “Last barrier is gone.”
Some of the disciples have been wanting for long that SR must describe the ultimate state of cosmic silence, the ultimate Samadhi. After assuring them several times, one fine day he sat down to fulfill their wish. Surrounded by all those disciples, SR comfortably slipped into Samadhi. However, the moment he attempted to describe the state, Samadhi was disrupted and he lost the description completely. It was quite a strange phenomenon that his disciples found it hard to believe though it was absolutely true. After several attempts, when SR was unable to describe the state of Samadhi from the state of Samadhi itself, he burst into tears, wept bitterly like a child…while sobbing hysterically, he apologised to his disciples for not being able to describe the experience as desired by them.
Why was Swami Ramakrsna unable to describe the ultimate state of Samadhi while dwelling in the state of Samadhi itself ?
In that state of consciousness, the COGNISER, COGNISED and COGNISABLE, all the three merge into ONE ENTITY, the entity of ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE i.e. PARAM BRAHMATMA. That is the state of Kaivalya, the ultimate state of consciousness wherein nothing else remains. What remains is just one entity, the entity of ABSOLUTE CONSCIOUSNESS devoid of entire Maya.
The Last Barrier was finally dissolved. Ma Kali is the Sakti who communes with Mahakala, the Absolute. He also established, Mantra-s are efficacious, Deva-s do exist, Siddhi-s are indeed attained and a Sadhaka is gradually led to the ultimate abode by the Mother. A Sakta or Sakti-Sadhaka may be Saivaite in attitude and Vaisnavite in pursuits. Ma Kali is Primordial Sakti, Brahma when inactive and Sakti, when creating, sustaining and annihilating like tranquil water in a pond and surging waves in an ocean. She is the Cosmic Energy manifesting in various ways, a Divine Mother who loves all beings as they all are her progenies. Her intensely blue complexion is the Infinite; every hair is a Jivatma; three eyes symbolise Her complete knowledge of past, present and future; gleaming white teeth represent Sattva; her bright red tongue is Raja; protruding tongue between teeth is command of tranquillity over inquietude; fifty skulls of Her Munda-Mala symbolise fifty alphabets of Samskrita i.e. original sounds; Her upper right hand grants the boon of intrepidity and lower right hand boons; She cleaves shackles of Maya with the sword in Her upper left hand and blesses wisdom with Her lower left holding a severed head. She is bereft of clothes as She is clad in Space being Infinite. Universal Consciousness of Siva lies at Her feet and no creation is possible without Her.
Swami Ramakrsna’s presence and existence is akin to spiritual spring cleaning / mopping operations and raising a healthy subtle infrastructure based on ethical values. The Swami went on to prescribe a few commandments for householders who used to hold spirituality inaccessible and impractical owing to their responsibilities. Indeed, he established spirituality not only accessible to householders but also comfortable to pursue concurrently with their socio-domestic responsibilities. Only a little spiritual discipline is essential in order to know what lies within. Like a painter, a householder must strive systematically towards attainment of spirituality. While honouring all worldly responsibilities, householder’s mind must be resolved on Isvara so that he acts while remaining absorbed in the Self. He must uninterruptedly understand and experience formlessness of Isvara. Intense love and Bhakti for Isvara is another injunction for a householder to observe and pursue. Householder must always seek Satsanga i.e. remaining in company of holy Sadhu-s / Rsi-s. Swami Ramakrsna believed, householder need not be a renunciate to pursue spirituality. He may very well pursue it even as a householder with perfection.
He successfully dissolved an important barrier for householders to enable them to be initiated into Adhyatma even without proceeding into jungles. That was his sterling contribution to Vedantism in the country.