It is said that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had an apparition of Jesus. In his personal room, there was a picture of Jesus. Also, we see that Christmas is celebrated in all Sri Ramakrishna Mission centres, all over the world. Both Jesus and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa have used parables extensively. It is true that parables help us digest higher truth easily. Once, Paramahamsa told the parable of a father who sent his two children to a guru to learn about Brahma. When they returned, the father asked them what they learned about Brahma. The elder tried to explain things using quotations from Scriptures and sometimes using logic. But the young one was silent; his eyes were filled with elements of uncertainty. The father said that it seems that the younger one has understood Brahma a little.
There is the story of a learned pandit in a royal court. When His Majesty, the king passed away, the crown prince took charge. The young king wanted somebody to teach him Bhagavatam, a very holy Hindu Scripture. The learned pandit in the royal court was sure to get the chance, for they were friends too. This Pandit suggested his own name to the post. But the king asked him to report again, after reading the whole book once more. He did so and came to the king. But the king demanded the same thing again, “Read the book carefully once again and come back.”
The Pandit returned sad, he smelled something wrong. May be there could be a passage which he himself would not have understood. A few weeks passed but the Pundit did not come back to report. The king sent his men asking them to bring the Pandit to him. They at last found him reading Bhagavatam. He was sitting alone in the nearby forest. He didn’t even know the king’s men approaching him. When he was brought to the king, the Pandit said that he hadn’t completed even one chapter of the book. It is said that the king prostrated before him and accepted him as his teacher.
Today, there are a lot of religious extremists in the world. The sad thing is that they dare to talk about God the whole day. It is clear that none of them has the experience of God, though they behave like the best of knowers. St. Francis is said to have advised the use of words only very sparingly. It is where we are to be very careful in each word used that these voice wars continue relentlessly. It’s funny to note that our fights are mostly on trivial things only.
Hear an incident from the life of Swami Vivekananda. Pandits came to know that Swami Vivekananda is there in his friend’s house in Kashipur, after his long foreign trip. They came to him again to hear him. They all were very learned in Sanskrit; but for Vivekananda it has been years since he last used it. Immediately after a minor grammar error was found in what Swami Vivekananda’s words, the Pandits sitting around raised the problem. Very soon Vivekananda admitted the error and continued the discussion. When all were gone, Vivekananda told his disciples that in the West, nobody will come forward to quarrel for a language error. Only because he wanted to stick on to the central point of debate that he admitted the mistake and apologised. He said that the reason for most of the debates and differences in India is the husk and nobody ever cares for the corn.