The following incident from Kalipada Ghosh’s life is to be repeatedly contemplated by the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna. This incident can also be meditated upon daily.
Kalipada Ghosh came as an immoral drunkard when he started visiting Sri Ramakrishna and was transformed by His golden touch. His faith in Sri Ramakrishna was matchless and firmly believed that Sri Ramakrishna is a God and has the capacity to grant him liberation. He was awaiting an opportune time to obtain the boon of liberation from Sri Ramakrishna Himself.
When the Master saw Kalipada He said that He had just been thinking of going to Calcutta. Kalipada told Him that his boat was at the landing ghat and that he would be glad to take Him there. Sri Ramakrishna immediately got ready and left with Latu (later Swami Adbhutananda) and Kalipada. As they got in the boat, however, Kalipada privately instructed the boatman to steer the boat to the middle of the river. Then Kalipada knelt down and clasped the Master’s feet, saying: ‘Sir, you are the saviour. Please save my life.’ ‘Oh, no, no!’ said Sri Ramakrishna. ‘Chant the name of the Lord. You will get liberation.’ Kalipada then said: ‘Sir, I am a wicked man and a drunkard. I do not even have time to chant the Lord’s name. You are the ocean of mercy. Kindly save a ruffian such as I, who is devoid of discipline and righteousness.’
Meanwhile, Kalipada firmly held on to the Master’s feet. Sri Ramakrishna could find no other way out of this predicament, so he asked Kalipada to stick out his tongue and then wrote a mantra on it. The Master said, ‘Henceforth your tongue will automatically repeat this mantra.’ But Kalipada was not happy. He said to the Master, ‘I don’t want this.’ ‘Then what do you want?’ asked Sri Ramakrishna. ‘When I leave this world,’ replied Kalipada, ‘I shall see darkness all around, and that terrible darkness will fill me with horror. My wife, children, and other relatives won’t be able to help me then. At that terrible time you will be my only saviour. You will have to take me, holding a light in your left hand and me with your right hand. I shall always be with you then. You will have to fulfil this prayer of mine.’ With His heart full of compassion, the Master said: ‘All right, all right. Your prayer will be fulfilled. My goodness! You have brought me to the middle of the Ganga and have created such a scene.’
Sri Ramakrishna had promised thrice in Swami Adbhutananda’s presence that at the time of Kalipada’s death He would take him, holding him by His right hand. Just as Kalipada breathed his last he raised his right hand. Swami Premananda was present at that time. Hearing the news of Kalipada’s death from Swami Premananda, Swami Adbhutananda said to some devotees: ‘Look, the Master came to Kalipada at his last moment. Holding Kalipada’s hand, the Master guided him away. Brother Baburam saw it clearly. Whatever the Master said to anyone is bound to be fulfilled.’