Keshav Chandra Sen was a great genius as far as intellect is concerned, and he was a co-founder of a religion, Brahmasamaj – “the society of the divine.” He was known all over India. Ramakrishna was not known, except to a few people in Calcutta on the riverbank where he lived. He was uneducated, and people – the people of the mind – thought he was mad because his behavior was not explainable by mental concepts.
But slowly, slowly his influence was increasing, particularly in Calcutta – which was very close; people could come to see him.
Keshav Chandra Sen was worried that a villager, uneducated…and even professors of the universities were becoming devotees; they would touch his feet. And whatever he was saying was so ordinary. The man had nothing exceptional. One day finally he decided to go and argue with this man and finish this whole thing.
He went. Hundreds of people who knew Keshav Chandra and a few who knew Ramakrishna all gathered to see what would transpire. Ramakrishna’s followers were very much afraid, knowing that Keshav Chandra could defeat anybody if it was a question of rationality. He had proved his mettle hundreds of times, all over India. He had defeated great scholars without much effort. Now, how was poor Ramakrishna going to stand up before him?
Everybody among the followers was nervous, but Ramakrishna was not. He was again and again asking, “Keshava has not come yet?” He would not use even his whole name: Keshav Chandra Sen. He would say simply, “Keshava has not come yet?”
Finally Keshav Chandra arrived with his great following. Ramakrishna hugged him. Keshav Chandra was not prepared for that. He had come to fight, and he made it clear to Ramakrishna, “These things won’t help. I have come to discuss each and every point of your philosophy. Don’t try to create a friendship. I have come as an enemy: either you defeat me and I will be your follower, or be ready to become my follower.”
Ramakrishna said, “That we will be doing soon – hugging has nothing to do with it! I have always loved you. Whenever I have heard about you and your ideas, that you say there is no God…and I know there is God, but still I enjoy and love you. In fact your great intelligence is proof that existence is intelligent; otherwise from where does intelligence come? You are a proof to me that God is – but that we will discuss later on. What is the hurry? And there is no need for any enmity. The discussion can be in deep friendship.
“And you know, I am a poor man. I don’t know any logic. I have never discussed with anybody. It is going to be a very easy job for you, so you need not be so tense! I have prepared some sweet for you; first take the sweet. I have prepared it with much love. And then you can start your so-called discussion.”
Keshav Chandra was finding it a little difficult. The man was strange; he offered him a sweet, he hugged him. He had already destroyed the animosity, the aggressiveness – in a very subtle way, without saying a word. And strangest of all, he says that my presence – that is, Keshav Chandra’s presence – is enough proof of God, there is no need of other proof. Without God how is such intelligence possible? The world would be dead. The world is intelligent, and God is nothing but the intelligence of existence.