Gradually other Brahmo leaders began to feel Sri Ramakrishna’s influence. But they were by no means uncritical admirers of the Master. They particularly disapproved of his ascetic renunciation and condemnation of “woman and gold”.1 They measured him according to their own ideals of the householder’s life. Some could not understand his samadhi and described it as a nervous malady. Yet they could not resist his magnetic personality.

Among the Brahmo leaders who knew the Master closely were Pratap Chandra Mazumdar, Vijaykrishna Goswami, Trailokyanath Sannyal, and Shivanath Shastri.

Shivanath, one day, was greatly impressed by the Master’s utter simplicity and abhorrence of praise. He was seated with Sri Ramakrishna in the latter’s room when several rich men of Calcutta arrived. The Master left the room for a few minutes. In the mean time Hriday, his nephew, began to describe his samadhi to the visitors. The last few words caught the Master’s ear as he entered the room. He said to Hriday: “What a mean-spirited fellow you must be to extol me thus before these rich men! You have seen their costly apparel and their gold watches and chains, and your object is to get from them as much money as you can. What do I care about what they think of me? (Turning to the gentlemen) No, my friends, what he has told you about me is not true. It was not love of God that made me absorbed in God and indifferent to external life. I became positively insane for some time. The sadhus who frequented this temple told me to practise many things. I tried to follow them, and the consequence was that my austerities drove me to insanity.” This is a quotation from one of Shivanath’s books. He took the Master’s words literally and failed to see their real import.

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