And this is the way in India, which still persists over almost ninety percent of India: you can see the girl only as a glimpse. She will come and serve tea – and that is the moment when you see her for few seconds – and she is gone.
Sharda, who was going to become his wife, came to put some sweets in his plate when they were taking their breakfast. He said to his father, “My god, the girl is so beautiful!” He took out the three rupees and put them at her feet, and touched her feet and said, “Mother, you are one in millions. I am going to marry you.”
The father said, “Idiot! First you call her ‘mother,’ touch her feet…and you have put your offering also, three rupees. And you are going to marry her?”
Even the girl’s parents became a little afraid, because this boy seems to be a little crazy. But Ramakrishna said, “I don’t see any problem in it. She is so beautiful, that’s why I touched her feet. Beauty should be respected. And she is so motherly; you can see it even from her face. That’s why I called her ‘mother’. Every girl is going to be a mother, so why you are freaking out? And I have decided that if I am going to marry anyone, this girl is the one; otherwise I will remain unmarried.”
Both the families managed, convinced each other that he is not mad or anything, just a little off, land a little eccentric, but he is not harmful. He does things which should not be done, but he never harms anybody.
They were married and the first night Ramakrishna said to Sharda, “It is private, don’t say it to anybody; I have accepted you as my mother. Let the whole world think you are my wife. I know you are my mother, you know I am your son. And this is going to be our relationship.” And this remained their relationship their whole life. But rather than being criticized he is being respected for this strange relationship. His wife is his mother, and there was never any husband and wife relationship between them.
There are so many stories of unfitness…. One sudra queen – she was a queen, but by the Hindu caste system she was the lowest untouchable – made a very beautiful temple on the banks of Ganges near Calcutta, in Dakshineshwar. No brahmin was ready to be a priest in her temple. The temple made by a sudra, by an untouchable, had also become untouchable; and the god inside had also become untouchable. In the whole of Bengal, only Ramakrishna, when he heard it, said, “This is a perfectly good chance.” He went to the queen and said, “I am ready to be the priest” – and he was a high caste brahmin.
She said, “Have you thought about it? Your society may discard you, expel you.”
He said, “I don’t have any society. And what does it matter if they expel me, if they make me an outcast? I am not dependent on anyone. I am going to be the priest in this temple.” And he was expelled, condemned.