Sri Ramakrishna’s occult contact with Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo never met Ramakrishna Paramahansa in physical life but he did gain contact through the occult planes with the latter as is adduced from various written works.  For example, Sri Aurobindo notes in his journal Record of Yoga three instances when he received messages from Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

Ramakrishna Paramahansa

The first message was in Baroda, the “Arabindo, mandir karo, mandir karo”, (Aurobindo, build a temple) & the parable of the snake Pravritti devouring herself.

The second was given in Shankar Chetti’s house soon after the arrival in Pondicherry, and the words are lost, but it was a direction to form the higher being in the lower self coupled with a promise to speak once more when the sadhan was nearing its close.

This is the third message (18 Oct 1912)

“Make complete sannyasa(renunciation) of Karma.
Make complete sannyasa of thought.
Make complete sannyasa of feeling.
This is my last utterance.”

Sri Aurobindo, Record of Yoga – I: 18 October 1912

During talks with various disciples, Sri Aurobindo discussed how his first occult contact with Ramakrishna Paramahansa spurred him to take up Yoga in earnest:

“Barin at that time was trying some automatic writing. … On another occasion a spirit purporting to be that of Ramakrishna came and simply said, “Build a temple.” At that time we were planning to build a temple for political Sannyasis and call it Bhawani Mandir. We thought he meant that, but later I understood it as “Make a temple within.”  This gave me the final push to Yoga. I thought: great men could not have been after a chimera, and if there was such a more-than-human power why not get it and use it for action?”

(Nirodbaran, Talks with Sri Aurobindo,  5th Jan 1939)

Sri Aurobindo also mentioned this occult guidance in a letter that he sent to Motilal Roy dated Aug 1912 :

“Remember also that we derive from Ramakrishna. For myself it was Ramakrishna who personally came & first turned me to this Yoga. Vivekananda in the Alipore jail (again, not physically but in the occult plane) gave me the foundations of that knowledge which is the basis of our sadhana.”

Sri Aurobindo, Supplement: Letters to M. (Motilal Roy)

42 thoughts on “Sri Ramakrishna’s occult contact with Sri Aurobindo

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  6. Sandeep Post author

    It seems Sri Aurobindo used to keep a photograph of Sri Ramakrishna in his room during his early years in Pondicherry. The following excerpts are from a book by Champaklal, who was a disciple:

    “It was in May 1919. Punamchandbhai had visited Pondicheny and when he returned I asked him whether he had seen Sri Aurobindo’s room. I put to him several questions regarding the room. He said there were two rooms connected by a door. The inner room was his private room. In the front room there was an almirah and on it was placed a framed photo of Sri Ramakrishna in a dancing pose….

    As I told you, when I came to Pondicherry for the first time in 1921, I asked Sri Aurobindo if we could see his room. He stretched out his golden hand and pointed to his room. That sight of him, sitting in his chair and stretching out his beautiful hand still remains etched in my memory. It is unforgettable. As soon as I entered the room I remembered what Punamchandbhai had told me about Sri Ramakrishna’s photo; I looked for it in every corner of the room, but I did not see it anywhere. I thought it must have been removed.

    Later in 1923, when I came for good and got the privilege of working in Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s rooms in Library House, I again looked for the photo but could not trace it. But I did not ask Mother about it. When they moved to Meditation House from Library House on February 8, 1927, Mother told me to carry certain things of Sri Aurobindo to Meditation House. At that time I found this photo in one of the drawers of Sri Aurobindo’s table. I showed it to Mother. And without my asking she gave it to me. ”

    (Champaklal. Champaklal Speaks, pp 74-75)

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  8. Sandeep Post author

    Sri Aurobindo used to keep some earth from Sri Ramakrishna’s abode in his house.

    Earth of Dakshineshwara (Ramakrishna’s abode) was found in Sri Aurobindo’s room when the police searched his house in April, 1908 (in connection the Alipore bomb trail). The earth was brought to me by a young man connected with the Ramakrishna Mission and I kept it; it was there in my room when the police came to arrest me.

    Sri Aurobindo, On Himself: Corrections of Wrong Statements in the Press

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  10. mike

    l suppose this only applies to Sri Aurobindo’s early sadhana.
    l’ve always been curious about whether Avatars, especially those belonging to the same line, actually have a constant contact on the higher planes. Surely Sri Aurobindo and Mother would be in touch with Sri Ramakrishna etc. on those planes.
    Mother actually spoke [in Agenda] about having years of contact with Sri Krishna. She says she use to walk along with Him for hours, just talking about things. So, surely She would have had a similar contact with other Avatars like Sri Ramakrishna.
    l’ve had a few inner contacts with Sri Ramakrishna over the years, for some reason. l think this blog put me in touch with him recently. l wasn’t thinking about Him in particular, but suddenly l could see an image [inner vision] of Him standing to my side with Swami Vivekananda. Then the word ‘Realisation’ popped into my head. As soon as l said this they both looked toward Sri Aurobindo and Mother [l knew and felt this inwardly], so l had immediate confirmation of where l belong. l’m very grateful to them for pointing it out. l’ve always known l belong with SA and Mother, but now l know definitely.
    Of course, it could be my imagination [because l’d been reading about Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda on here] but still…..

    1. Sandeep

      Mike: l suppose this only applies to Sri Aurobindo’s early sadhana.

      Yes, during his phase of nescience to impel him forward.

      Mike: l’ve always been curious about whether Avatars, especially those belonging to the same line, actually have a constant contact on the higher planes. Surely Sri Aurobindo and Mother would be in touch with Sri Ramakrishna etc. on those planes.

      I don’t know. How does one define contact ? It would be a thought-vibration passing through the higher realms. And what would they communicate about ? They might tell each other, “My disciples are as bad as yours !!”

      Mike: l’ve had a few inner contacts with Sri Ramakrishna over the years, for some reason. l think this blog put me in touch with him recently.

      It is indeed heartening to know that this blog played a part in it ! 🙂

    1. Sandeep Post author

      According to Google, you may have read it here

      Question from Vikram: Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said he would reincarnate again in the human form, when is it , is it after 100 yrs or after 200 yrs or after 300 yrs?

      Swamiji’s response: In every human form.

      Ramakrishna did not say anything.

      1. Anshuman

        I think thakur has told that he will reincarnate as a monk somewhere in burdwan within 100 years?am I right?can you give more information on this matter..

      2. manojk

        I read somewhere that he (H.H. Paramhansa) will re incarnate in Russia! And Russia will be d first country to adopt Hinduism after World War 3! Please throw some light on it!

      3. Sandeep Post author

        Unlike Islam or Christianity, Hinduism is not a predatory religion which delights in converting heathens and increasing market-share. So it doesn’t matter if Russia as a country adopts Hinduism as a state religion.

        And even if an entire country like Russia adopted Hinduism, it is doubtful how many would actually understand Hinduism. Look at what happens in India. The majority of people have very little understanding of Hinduism. People only grasp as much as their limited personality will allow and then they misinterpret the rest.

        Before speculating on the future and the spread of Hinduism, ask yourself if you really understand Hinduism. Have you imbibed the Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedas as well as the commentaries and teachings of all the sages into your own life ?

        That is how Ramana Maharshi would have responded to your question 🙂

      4. manojk

        Yes u r right! But I am not saying that Hindus are interested in converting others or increase their market share! If people understand Hinduism fully, then people or country will voluntarily adopt it! Anyways…

        I read some blogs on Nostradamus predictions by Francois Gautier where it was mentioned! As Ishwar re incarnates to protect dharma and India as land of spirituality nd dharma, and in my view is going to be Jagatguru (offcourse we have to do Sadhana for it), i thought this could be a possibility.. thats why i asked you!

      5. Sandeep Post author

        Well I don’t have the answer. Sorry

        Ask yourself : who made this prediction? Has his/her other predictions come true before ?

  11. mike

    This made me laugh:
    “One day when Narendra was on the ground floor, meditating, the Master was lying awake in his bed upstairs. In the depths of his meditation Narendra felt as though a lamp were burning at the back of his head. Suddenly he lost consciousness. It was the yearned-for, all-effacing experience of nirvikalpa samadhi, when the embodied soul realizes its unity with the Absolute. After a very long time he regained partial consciousness but was unable to find his body. He could see only his head. “Where is my body?” he cried. The elder Gopal entered the room and said, “Why, it is here, Naren!” But Narendra could not find it. Gopal, frightened, ran upstairs to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna only said: “Let him stay that way for a time. He has worried me long enough.””

    Even after this experience swami vivekananda still had doubts:
    “Doubt, however, dies hard. After one or two days Narendra said to himself, “If in the midst of this racking physical pain he declares his Godhead, then only shall I accept him as an Incarnation of God.” He was alone by the bedside of the Master. It was a passing thought, but the Master smiled. Gathering his remaining strength, he distinctly said, “He who was Rama and Krishna is now, in this body, Ramakrishna — but not in your Vedantic sense.” Narendra was stricken with shame.”

    With all my doubts, l get some comfort from the fact that someone like Swami Vivekananda can still be unsure after such an incredible experience.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: Even after this experience swami vivekananda still had doubts:

      This happens when the surface personality is too rational and resistant. We forget the spiritual experience in a day or two and begin to wonder “Did it really happen or was I hallucinating?”

      In case of Vivekananda, Ramakrishna had asked the Mother to deliberately veil his true nature otherwise he might give up his body. See this passage from the Gospel.

      On the other side was a luminous space like a heap of red brick-dust. Inside it was seated Narendra immersed in samadhi. Seeing him absorbed in meditation, I called aloud, ‘Oh, Narendra!’ He opened his eyes a little. I came to realize that he had been born, in another form, in Simla (The section of Calcutta in which Narendra was born.) in a kayastha family. At once I said to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother, entangle him in maya; otherwise he will give up his body in samadhi.’


  12. mike

    “I came to realize that he had been born, in another form, in Simla (The section of Calcutta in which Narendra was born.) in a kayastha family”

    I assume that means the Higher-Self or Psychic being puting out two incarnations of Swami Vivekananda?
    l’ve only read about it twice. Once in the agenda, when The Mother said She had two contemporary incarnations in france [satprem noticed the discrepancy, l believe].
    The other time was in one of Hiroshi Motoyama’s books. He said that sometimes the Higher-Self incarnates in two bodies. He was talking about a male and female form, though. He also said they come together for some Spiritual Purpose, and they usually marry and die around the same time.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      I am afraid there is some misunderstanding. I don’t read that statement as indicative of two incarnations. Ramakrishna’s vision of VIvekananda was on a higher plane, and it simultaneously revealed to him that the latter’s soul was now in incarnation (in a human body).

  13. mike

    Yes, your probably right sandeep. lt’s a strange sentence, or most likely l just see things in a strange way lol.

  14. Sandeep Post author

    Sri Aurobindo states above “Barin at that time was trying some automatic writing. … On another occasion a spirit purporting to be that of Ramakrishna came and simply said, “Build a temple.””

    This incident is described further in an intelligence report prepared by the British government which then ruled India. The following text is from Sisson and Wolpert’s Congress and Indian Nationalism : The Pre-Independence Phase:

    At a meeting in the house of M. B. Jadhav in Baroda in the autumn of 1905, the Ghosh brothers and a few patriotic Marathas decided to call in the spirit of Ramakrishna for advice as to what should be done to improve the status of the Indians, for Aurobindo and others of his ideas regarded the Paramahamsa as their guru. What followed is best described in the language of an intelligence report prepared three years later on the basis of special enquiries:

    They shut themselves in a room on the ground floor at about 10 P.M.
    and the method employed for consulting the spirit was table-turning. These people say that every one does not possess this quality, but some of them possess it. So when they sat solemnly at prayer, they noticed motion in the hands of Arabindo. Paper and pencil were made over to him and he asked those who were present there what they wanted and what spirit they wanted to consult. All present said they wanted to consult Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and asked that his spirit should be consulted to favour them with his advice as regards the wishes of the members. After five minutes the members heard a great noise. The doors opened and closed by themselves and at the same time a sensation was observed in the hands of Arabindo Ghose. One of the members asked him who he was, and he replied that he was the spirit of Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who had appeared at their invitation. They asked for advice as to how they should help and relieve their country. Accordingly Arabindo wrote on some sheets of paper and was thus busy for about two hours when the doors again opened and shut by themselves as they had done in the commencement. From what was written they made out that these were written instructions for them, and they determined to carry them out. First was the foundation of national schools, and secondly to send young men to England to learn the art of making arms, ammunition and bombs. They decided in the first place to establish two such schools, one at Baroda and the other at Calcutta, and they also decided to consult Mr. Tilak as to establishing one on his side too. They also resolved that their principles should be propagated by Bhavani Mandir.

    (Sisson and Wolpert, Congress and Indian Nationalism : The Pre-Independence Phase, p 65)

  15. mike

    Yes, automatic writing is interesting. Of course the Master was an exception. l think He and The Mother later said that with most ppl it’s 99% subconscious information.
    l have a friend who likes these these things [tarot, automatic writing, quija etc] and he’s been dabbling for years. lt’s risky in my opinion, especially ppl who don’t understand the deceptive nature of the lower astral etc.. and don’t have adequate Spiritual protection. But, still, there are some who have written books in this way with spirits of the dead claiming to be responsible.
    My friend was trying automatic writing [he seems to have a propensity for it] and it gave some clearly spelled advice for him – DON’T DRINK SO MUCH. As it happens, he’s also an alchoholic. l don’t think he like the answer and he hasn’t bothered with it since lol.
    This same friend wanted me to ask Sri Aurobindo [a while ago] if he would become a great occultist. l asked in this friend’s house and the same night l had a dream with Sri Aurobindo sitting in my friend’s front room. The Master just shook His head – that was clear enough for me lol.

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  22. nishat

    I remember reading Sri Aurobindo on Ramakrishna and stating that Ramakrishna was illiterate; unable to read or write but that Bengali intellectuals bowed down to his intellect.
    But the other day browsing wikipedia’s page upon Ramakrishna it is claimed that Ramakrishna had attended a village school with some regularity for 12 years. [18]
    And that He could read and write in Bengali.[20]
    These references are by some guy called Jackson. Carl T. (1994). Vedanta for the West. Indiana University Press.

    Can anyone edify me about this matter of Ramakrishna’s supposed literacy abilities?

  23. mike

    l think most commentators say RK was’almost’ illiterate, and not totally illiterate… Like Aldous Huxley in his foreword to The Gospel of Sari Ramsakrishna:

    “Sri Ramakrishna was almost illiterate. He never clothed his thoughts in formal language. His words sought to convey his direct realization of Truth. His conversation was in a village patois. Therein lies its charm. In order to explain to his listeners an abstruse philosophy, he, like Christ before him, used with telling effect homely parables and illustrations, culled from his observation of the daily life around him.”


    “But this practically illiterate priest, unlike the erudite Maharshi, replied in rural dialect without mincing words – “Yes, I have seen God. I have seen Him more tangibly than I see you. I have talked with him more intimately than I am talking to you. But my child, who wants to see God! People shed jugs of tears for money, wife and children. But if they weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him.”

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  25. gopal.M


    on a lighter note there is no world after world war 3. May be the hindu religion will propogate itself in the void.


    1. manojk

      No.. there will be world in which only Satjans and spiritual people will be there.. just like a little Satya Yug in this Ghor Kaliyug for a period of 1000 years.. Just we have to do some Sadhna that is spirituality from our busy schedule to make us eligible!

  26. krish

    Don’t believe that Kaliyuga is 432000 years long, IMO it’s error in interpretation that has crept in as an effect of kaliyuga. Evidence:
    1) All major religions’ prophets/seers had talked about resurrection in near future.
    2) Societal conditions mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata ETC during peak of Kaliyuga is already manifesting ( ).
    3) Bhagavan Krishna mentioned that there’ll be a golden period after 5000 years for 10000 years. Refer following article to understand that why a yuga cycle is in fact 12000 years long and how coming 10000 golden years fit in so perfectly.
    End of Kaliyuga in 2025: Unraveling the mysteries of the Yuga Cycle.
    4) There are now evidence that Sri Ram was actually born in 5114 BC.
    We already know Sri Krishna lifetime – around 3100 BC.
    5) Also see many prophecies (including world war 3 between 2000 and 2030) by a Yogi

    The chaos and confusion we see everywhere despite advances in technology and so called modern scientific education shows that something is fundamental wrong in the world. This can usually be attributed to the last days of a yuga because any transition is always characterized by turbulence. When we talk about transition of one yuga to another, we fundamentally mean changes in collective consciousness. This change is bound to bring chaos in mind which expresses itself outward in people’s irrational actions we’re witnessing.
    Dharma is at the lowest and it’s declined so much in India as well that we see no hope
    This is the time when avatar must come and restore the dharma. Rest assured that he’s already taken controls in hand but very few can recognize him for now.
    How can you recognize him? It’s not easy but there are signs. If you see someone doing huge work, selflessly, and his followers are increasingly like anything wherever he goes. at the same time he’s also criticized and atacked like anything by deamons.
    Also, he never claims to be avatar.
    If you recognize above qualities in any individual, don’t think of That individual mere an individual, he could be an avatar. But don’t claim this publically. Because 1) people will ridicule you and 2) this could create problems in his mission.
    Neither Rama nore Krishna was known to be an avatar by many during most of their lifetime. This is how it was and this is how it’ll be.

    What we need to do to help him:
    1) practice Yog (ashthangayog and not mere poses for fitness) ETC to grow spiritually.
    2) Educate people around you about glorious sanatan dharm teachings and practices not by imposing but by setting yourself as an example. This will not only increase your satkarm but motivate them to become noble and spiritual thereby helping Kalki in his mission. Dharm must first be restored in India before it can in rest of the world.
    3) Set one goal of life and devote your all time to it while you’re on it. The way Swami Vivekananda did for reviving teachings of Vedanda.

    1. Sandeep Post author

      Better to live in the present than hang one’s hopes on a glorious future which may never come.


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