By the Editors
In our last issue, Vol.16 No.4, Winter / Spring 2010, we reproduced a painting on page 2. We asked if any of our readers knew its source. We now know that it was painted by the illustrious artist N.C. Das of Kolkata. Here is the story behind the painting:Rasik, a scavenger of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, used to see many devotees regularly visiting Sri Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna used to talk and dance with them. The atmosphere seemed to be filled with joy. Rasik used to think to himself: “I am a scavenger. I have no right to enter his room (in those days, caste rules prevented this). But I love and respect this Godman. Somehow I have to seek his blessings.” Thinking thus, Rasik resolved to beg Sri Ramakrishna for his blessings at the opportune time.
One day Rasik spotted Sri Ramakrishna returning from the pine grove. As the Master neared the Panchavati, Rasik fell down at his feet and said with intense emotion: “Baba (father), what will be my future! Will I not achieve anything?” Sri Ramakrishna was sincerely moved by his genuine devotion and blessed him saying “Sweep this road everyday wholeheartedly. You will get everything.”
Assured thus and receiving the blessings of Sri Ramakrishna, Rasik devotedly did as instructed until his death. Sensing the approaching end, he asked his wife and sons to take him to the tulsi grove at his home. He had a vision of Sri Ramakrishna and, with tears trickling down from the corners of his eyes, said: “Baba, you have come to take me! You have not forgotten!” Saying this, Rasik breathed his last.