From the very first meeting with Sri Ramakrishna, Tarak (Swami Shivananada) felt in his inmost heart that he had at last found one who could guide his steps to the doors of the Infinite. Intuitively, he felt that the vague aspirations of his boyhood and youth were realized in the personality of the Master, who appeared to him to be the consummation of all religions. To know him was to know God. With the growth of this conviction his devotion of the Master increased a hundredfold.
Tarak continued his visits to Dakshineswar till the Master fell seriously ill in 1885, which necessitated his removal first to Calcutta and then to the Cossipore garden house.
One incident during this period is worth recounting. Narendra, Tarak and Kali were at this time very much engaged in the thought of Buddha and of Brahman without any quality. Impelled by this they went for tapasya to Bodh Gaya. As they sat in meditation under the Bodhi tree, lost to outer consciousness, Narendra suddenly began to weep and then held Tarak in a warm embrace. According to one version, Narendranath, deep in the thought of Buddha’s compassion, was seized with such an emotional upsurge that he could not help embracing his brother out of overflowing love. Or perhaps, Narendra saw something of Buddha in Tarak. At least Kali affirmed that he heard from Narendra that the latter saw a light flash out of Buddha’s image and procees towards Tarak.
The Master too seems to have had a similar estimation of Tarak’s core of personality. About this estimation, we have it on the evidence of Swami Turiyananda that one day when Tarak was returning from the Kali temple, the master remarked, “His ‘home’ is that high Power from which proceed name and form.” Tarak had something of the Transcendental Verity in him. And Buddha, it must be remembered, was not an atheist, but an embodiment of the Upanishadic ideal.
Teachings of Swami Shivananda
If one practices meditation and japa regularly along with work, then there will be no trouble. We have to work, that is certain. But then if one does not practice meditation, japa, along with work, then one will not be able to work in the right spirit. The whole trouble is about ‘me and mine’ which always seeks comfort. Meditation and Japa are absolutely necessary – there should be no lapse in them. When you meditate, think that you and He alone exist, and forget everything else – work, (monastic) Order, Math and so on. Gradually you have to forget even your own existence. If work makes the mind impure, it is not good work, but an evil one.
Pray to the Lord for strength, knowledge, and dispassion. Pray to Him with all your heart for His grace, devotion, and the faith. It is not possible for everyone to practice hard austerities but then, through prayer everything is attained. If you find it difficult to meditate, be prayerful.
Source: The Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna