Trayee Sessions: Part 9 (3): A Story of Swami Vivekananda and Brahmananda

April 24, 2001

Sri Sathya Sai in Trayee Brindavan

...Continued from Part 2

Swami : (continuing) First you have to learn Eeta (swimming). What is the eeta to be learnt? It is chanting God’s name. Then we can cross any ocean. There is no need to fear. There is great reward in Swami’s Darshan (seeing), Sparshan (touching), and Sambhashan (conversing). People who do not find any fulfillment, complain that all this is waste. But the reward is inside. You can feel oneness with God. Not knowing the greatness of Darshan, Sparshan, and Sambhashan, you live like sheep. How do sheep live? They walk closing their eyes. Even if a vehicle is honking the horn, they don’t move. They just follow the sheep in the front. Similarly, you all just follow others. If one of your classmates goes in one direction, you just follow him blindly. Imitation is bad. Imitation is human. Creation is divine. You are like sheep.

You all feel that you have learnt some things. Even a monkey can do cycling with practice. It will even smoke a cigarette with its left hand while cycling. With training even a monkey and dog can change their behavior. You will become great with practice. Without practice, nothing can be achieved. That is why Bhagavad Gita tells, 
Shreyo Hi Jnanam Abhyasat,  
Jnanat Dhyanam Vishisyate,  
Dhayanat Karma Phalatyaga,  
Tyagat Shanti Anantaram”
So first you must practice to get peace. Even walking is learnt by practice. Your mother holds your hand and makes you walk or else you would still be just sitting. Similarly, Sai Matha gives you all practice. But you don’t understand. You start getting afraid. You are afraid even to stand up. Till you have bhayam, there will be no abhayam. Therefore to get abhayam first give up bhayam.

What ever Swami tells, does and thinks, is all for your good. But you don’t understand this. You waste time. If a moment is lost, it is lost forever.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1838-1888)
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa worshipped the Mother from morning to night. One night he ate some food and went to sleep crying. He cried, “Oh mother! Even today has been wasted. I did not get your Darshan today”. He felt very sorry for it. The lost moment cannot be recovered back. You eat an apple. You chew it and take it inside. Then it cannot be got back, as it has been digested. Similarly a moment lost cannot be got back. Before you lose it, you must use it. Then your life will be fulfilled. Instead if you feel, “All are coming to Trayee. So I also must go”. Thinking thus, if you sit in a corner, is it useful? Without bothering of Darshan, Sparshan, and Sambhashan you just go back telling Someone spoke”. There is no use of this.

There is sweetness in words. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to tell stories to his disciples. But daily one of the disciples had to go and procure for him fish from Calcutta for him to eat. Just one or two fish didn’t suffice. He needed a plateful. While talking on one side he had a plate of fish and on the other, a plate of burfi. He kept eating them while talking. The disciples went by turns to procure the fish.

Swami Brahmananda (1863-1922)
One day it was the turn of Brahmananda. He had to cross the Ganges to get the fish. In the boat, people started criticizing him and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. They told that the monk was making all these boys lazy. He made them wear ochre robes. He was mad and made these boys mad. Hearing this Brahmananda cried, but gave no reply. He went to the city and got the fish. He was afraid that even during the return journey, people would criticize him. People did criticize him telling, “See the young Sanyasi. He is becoming lazy. He is mad. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is also mad”. Brahmananda closed his ears.

When he came back, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was speaking to his disciples. He called Brahmananda and asked what had happened in the boat. Brahmananda cried and told, “People criticised you. It is OK if they criticise us. But to criticise a pure soul like you… I couldn’t bear it”. In that congregation, Narendra (Swami Vivekananda) was also present. Hearing Brahmananda, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said, “Chhi, Chhi.. How could you listen to Guru Dooshana (criticism of your Master)? Get out of here”. Brahmananda sat quietly.

Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902)
The next day, it was Narendra’s turn. When he went to get the fish, people started talking ill about him and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. They told, “See, another lazy man is coming, He simply keeps roaming. Is Ramakrishna Paramahamsa a devotee? Being a Sanyasi he eats fish”. Hearing this Narendra got up. He slapped the people who spoke thus. He lifted a man and threatened to throw him into the river. The people got afraid and kept quiet. Even when he came back, these people were quiet.

When he returned to the temple, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa asked what had happened in the boat. Narendra replied that people again spoke ill and he slapped them. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told, “Chhi, Chhi… you wear ochre robe. You live in the Sannidhi of God. But you can’t control your anger. You were even violent. Get out.” Narendra was puzzled. He asked Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, “Yesterday you told Brahmananda not to be silent when you hear Guru Dooshana. But today you condemn what I have done.”

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa replied, “What I did yesterday as well as today, both are correct. A car has four tyres. The pressure in these tyres must be balanced. It can’t be more in one and less in another. If there is any difference you check it up in a petrol bunk. Yesterday, Brahmananda was like a soft tyre. He only cries. So I had to pump him up. So I scolded him for being silent.  Today you were short tempered”. Narendra was short tempered because he had Asthma. “To reduce your temper, I scolded you. Yesterday I increased the pressure. Today I decreased it. Therefore my teachings are all for your good”.

Similarly, I do only good for you. You must see the teachings of saints and learn from them.

Swami : Is this a good story?
Students : Very nice, Swami 


  1. Nice one .. I really like how Swami RamaKrishna Paramhamsa said ''Balance'' both sides of the emotions, it is true .. Goodness and Good People can not and should never be criticized and at the same time total aggression in unwarranted unless in the rarest of circumstances!


  2. Wonderful teaching of having a balanced approach in life! Thank you for sharing this beautiful gem.



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