He said, “You can accept my resignation, but I cannot do anything against my heart. My mother used to taste food first, and then she would give it to me. If it was really delicious she would give it; if it was not that good she would prepare it again. I cannot be cruel with God. I love Him. How can I offer Him something which I have not tasted?”
Rasmani understood this too. She was not only wise, she was also a woman. But the third thing was very difficult for people, and that was: Ramakrishna would be giving a discourse, and in the middle of the discourse – talking about God, talking about the ultimate, talking about prayer – he would suddenly stop and he would say, “Excuse me, I will be coming back.” And he would go to the kitchen to inquire of his wife Sagar, “What are you preparing today? Make something really good.”
This was too much. Even Sagar objected, saying, “This cannot be supported in any way – talking about God, and suddenly in the middle you remember about food, what will people think? – what kind of man is he?”
His closest circle of disciples believed that he had arrived, but even they were suspicious. Everything was okay, but this continuous disruption in the discourse, going to his wife to inquire…and the kitchen was not far away, so everybody was hearing what he was inquiring about. Back again, he would start talking about God. They said, “This you should stop. It discredits you.” He would simply laugh, and would not answer.
One day his wife said, “Unless you answer this question, I am not going to prepare food today at all; we will all fast.” He said, “If you insist, I can tell you. The day I am not interested in food, the day you feel that I am not interested in food, remember, only three days are left for my life. This is the last thread, very thin and fragile, that I am holding.” Even if he was resting, lying down on the bed, as his wife entered with the food, he would jump – just like a small child – and just look at the plate: “What have you made?”
The wife said, “You should behave like a grown-up, you are not a child!” He said, “Who is going to see here? Don’t be worried, just tell me what you have prepared. You make such delicious things that most of the time I am meditating on them. But remember, the day I show no interest only three days are left.”
And it happened one day that he was resting, looking at the door; the wife entered, and he turned to the other side. Usually he would have jumped, but he did just the opposite. The plate fell down from the wife’s hands. “Only three days?” And that very day it was discovered that he had cancer of the throat.
For the coming three days he was not able to eat or to drink. One of his closest disciples asked him, “You are so close to the sources of life, you can just ask, ‘Remove this cancer.’ If you are not eating, not drinking, none of your disciples are drinking or eating. How can we?” When they all insisted, he said, “Okay, I will try. The problem is, when I close my eyes I forget, because thoughts disappear, and I forget what I was supposed to ask. But I will do my best.”