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Chapter 41: From Information to Transformation

I cannot understand what an enlightenment is. Oh, my beautiful master, will you please say something about the taste of enlightenment?

There are things in life which cannot be understood. They can be experienced, but they cannot be explained. To explain them is to explain them away. About such things, you have to go through a transformation.

You are asking for information. Information can be given about objects; the whole of science is information. The whole of religion is transformation - the moment religion becomes information, it is dead.

You are asking me to give some taste of enlightenment to you. Can’t you see a simple fact? - that tastes cannot be transferred; either you have them or you don’t have them. Even ordinary tastes.the taste of a sweet fruit is unexplainable. You will have to taste it yourself.

I can show you the way, where the fruit is available, where the ripe fruit is waiting for you, where the flowers have become tired, because they have been waiting for you for many many lives, still hoping that one day you will come.

I am reminded of a beautiful incident in the life of Ramakrishna’s wife, Sharda Devi.

Ramakrishna died, but before dying he told Sharda, “Remember, I have been here always and I will be here always, so don’t think of yourself as a widow. Only my body is going to die - but you are married to me, not to my body.”

In India, when a husband dies - and particularly in Bengal it is more severe for the woman, for the wife - her head is shaved.because half of the beauty of a woman is in her hair. She cannot wear any colored clothes; only white is allowed. She cannot use any ornaments, particularly the glass bangles that are used by married women. When the husband dies, she has to break her glass bangles.

Just by the way, I have to inform you why the glass bangles have been chosen as a symbol of marriage: because here in this life, everything is just like glass - breakable, easily breakable. And when the husband dies, she has to break her bangles on the floor. They need to be made of glass, not of metal, not of gold.

But Ramakrishna prohibited her: “In spite of the whole tradition, I prohibit you. Continue the way you have lived with me. I have loved your food, your sweets. Every day, prepare my food, my sweets; and sit just the way you used to sit before me while I was eating. One day I will be coming.” Ramakrishna died.

Everybody tried to convince Sharda, “Don’t be mad, don’t go against the tradition. Ramakrishna was always half mad, and it seems that before death he has lost his mind completely!”

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