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No Person Is Too Lowly For God’s Grace

No person is too lowly for God’s grace, as the familiar story of Rasik, the sweeper of the Dakshineswar temple, illustrates. Rasik was simple and guileless; his pure heart was given to God. He longed to meet Sri Ramakrishna, whom he called ‘father’, but suffered under the restrictions of his caste and related social prejudice. He could only watch with longing as others came close to the Master and were redeemed. He wept for Sri Ramakrishna’s grace. One day he prostrated himself before Sri Ramakrishna as he was returning from the Panchavati, absorbed in a spiritual mood. ‘What will happen to me?’ he cried. Sri Ramakrishna was touched by Rasik’s earnestness. Gazing at him with full compassion, he blessed Rasik: ‘You will see me at the time of death.’

Two years aft er the Master’s demise, Rasik fell gravely ill. He did not take medicines. He only drank charanamrit, sanctifi ed water, which sustained him, gave him some energy, and ended the fever. He spent his waking hours chanting God’s name and praying earnestly for his grace. Lying on a mat in his tulsi grove, his rosary in hand, the blessed Rasik died in full consciousness visualizing the presence of the Master. Sri Ramakrishna’s great assurance to Rasik was fulfilled to the letter.

A similar event occurred in the life of Pratap Chandra Hazra, who is familiar to all readers of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna for his hypocritical ways and criticism of Sri Ramakrishna. Hazra used to call Swami Vivekananda his friend. Swamiji intervened on his behalf and persuaded Sri Ramakrishna to bless him. Hazra died peacefully and happily in a manner similar to Rasik.

These events remind us of the story of a temple gardener who was loved by Sri Ramakrishna for his simple pious life. One night he saw a bright radiance flowing from Sri Ramakrishna’s body while the Master was meditating under the bel tree. It was brighter than lightning, brighter than the sun. He was so astounded that he left the spot in fear, but the next morning he fell tearfully at the Master’s feet and said: ‘Master, please bless me.’ Ramakrishna gently raised him up and said, ‘Meditate on the form that you saw last night. Clean this path that leads to the Panchavati. Many devotees will come here in the future.’