Born of pious parents on February 28, 1844, Girish grew up as a lively carefree soul. He inherited from his father a sharp intellect and a pragmatic approach to life, and from his mother a love for literature and devotion to God. His grandmother introduced him to the rich heritage of India’s epics and mythology.

Unfortunately, at the threshold of youth, Girish started drifting into drunkenness and debauchery. Yet side by side with his perverse behaviour, he would raise money to help the poor.

Because of his wayward nature, he could not complete his school education. But he was a genius and a voracious reader. He studied several subjects and gained vast knowledge in English literature, Western philosophy and science. His prodigious creativity found expression through writing and acting. He wrote many well-known plays, and acted in most of them. The songs which he wrote are popular even today.

In his case, it was not he who first sought Sri Ramakrishna, but it was the Master who sought him first. On seeing Sri Ramakrishna for the first time, he thought that the latter was a fraud. Only in his fourth meeting did he feel the wonderful attraction of Sri Ramakrishna. Through the latter’s influence, he slowly gave up his haughtiness, rudeness and arrogance. The Master asked him to have faith in order to get rid of crookedness of heart. Under the Master’s loving care, Girish started realizing that the Master would not condemn him for his shortcomings. One great virtue that Girish had was his steadfastness to Truth and total lack of hypocrisy. Finally, one day Girish surrendered completely to the Master. Girish’s faith and love were so intense that his life was quickly transformed.

On 1 January 1886, during the Master’s last illness, Girish openly started preaching the Master’s divinity. Many were blessed by the Master after the event. After the Master’s death, he purposely did not see the latter’s dead body to preserve in his mind the conviction that the Master was immortal.

He breathed his last on 8 February 1912. His last words were: “Master, you have come. Please destroy my worldly intoxication. Victory to Sri Ramakrishna. Let us go”.

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Sanjay Bose

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