But before dying Ramakrishna, called Sharda, his wife, and told her, “Remember, you are never going to become a widow. I am dying, but I will be here. I will not be confined in the body, but you have not loved only my body; you have loved me, my consciousness. So don’t become a widow. Use beautiful clothes; just for my joy, use all the beautiful ornaments that I have given to you. And remember” – he loved delicious food too much – he said, “Remember, don’t forget to create beautiful dishes for me. I will not be able to eat them, but even the aroma of your beautiful food will be a nourishment to me. And don’t forget to prepare my bed rightly, particularly the mosquito net.”
His disciples were feeling very embarrassed, “What is he saying? Has he gone insane? A dying enlightened person is worried about the mosquito net….”
Sharda followed his instructions for almost thirty years that she lived after him. She would prepare his food the same way she used to prepare it while he was in the body. She would take it to his room – and nobody was there – and she would say, “Paramahansadeva, your food is ready.” She would sit like the way she used to sit, with her fan in her hand. There was nobody. The disciples tried to convince her – “This is absolutely mad; you go on fanning and there is nobody….”
She said, “There may not be for you; there is for me.” She would prepare the bed the way he liked, with many covers. She would take care about the mosquito net, that not a single mosquito entered inside.
Very few people have understood Sharda, but she really loved Ramakrishna – not the body in which he was, but him, his being. Now the body is no longer there, but the being is spread all over existence; he is more than he was before. Before he was imprisoned in the body; now he is unembodied. Now he is just freedom.
The enlightened man helps people while he is alive, and he goes on helping people while he is not in the body. But if you cannot understand an enlightened man while he is in the body, it is very difficult for you to understand when he is not in the body.
Once you have fallen in love with a master, slowly, slowly he is no more a body to you. He becomes only a pure consciousness.
When Gautam Buddha died ten thousand sannyasins were present. Except twenty, almost everybody was crying. But what was the matter with those twenty? Were they not devoted to Gautam Buddha? One of them, Manjushree was asked, “What is the matter with you all? – because you have been closest to him.”
He said, “That is the matter. We have known him not as the body; we have known him as an immortal consciousness. We are rejoicing. Up to now he was confined in a small space; now the whole sky is his. We can touch him anywhere, we can talk to him anywhere. We know he will be available – that’s why we are not crying, not weeping. You are crying and weeping because you have never gone beyond the body. The body was beautiful, but it is nothing compared to the beauty of consciousness.”