“Patience is a priceless possession. Exert yourself always to nourish it.” – Sri Ram Thakur

India has been blessed with the incarnations of many powerful and mystic saints and religious teachers from time to time. Sri Sri Ramthakur was one of them and He appeared in human form in undivided Bengal in the middle of 19th Century. Though He was a well known saint, little is known about Him outside West Bengal and Bangladesh as He was against any kind of publicity about Himself. Millions of followers flocked to him for His advice and spiritual guidance.

He would show His followers the path of enlightenment with the help of very simple advice like, “Chant His name always wherever you are. Do your duties and keep faith. That will do since the Almighty and His name are inseparable, identical and the same. One can even overcome the predestined by chanting His name alone. Showiness is not desirable as it blurs the truth.” His sweet and hearty advice lies deep-rooted in the hearts of His followers.

Neem Karoli Baba & Sri Ram Thakur

Baba used to talk about the saints and how they move about. One day he said, “Ram Thakur was a great saint, a very great saint.” I had not heard about him as I also had not heard about many others. Afterwards I read and heard about him from some of his devotees. He took his samadhi in 1949. He was a great saint, and many of his devotees both high and low remember him, not as a saint, but actually Bhagwan—God. There was so much in common between him and Babaji. They had the same methods of working, unseen and unknown by others.

I do not know why Babaji talked so much about Ram Thakur. Babaji would not disclose anything about himself to satisfy my curiosity, but I could seek some help, some light, from the lives of other saints. Perhaps Ram Thakur was chosen for me for that purpose. Their ways of working were very similar in many things, and the similarity of their behavior in identical situations was very striking.

Professor Chakravarty was a great devotee of Thakur. One day he was sitting with his friends in a room on the ground floor when they saw Thakur suddenly go up the stairs. They went up and saw that the Professor’s wife was very agitated. She asked where Thakur had gone. She had been feeling totally helpless in alleviating the suffering of her three children who were sick from smallpox. She had been appealing to Thakur, so Thakur had to come. Seeing him at the door, she went to get a seat for him, but when she returned, he was gone. They had all seen him come, but he was not there anymore. In three days all the children recovered, with no trace or mark of the disease on their bodies. They learned afterwards that when they had seen Thakur in their Calcutta house, he was actually sitting in Hardwar, surrounded by his devotees.

Neither Ram Thakur nor Babaji would talk about themselves, or allow others to talk about them. If you had questions, you had to work them out for yourself. There were no ready-made answers to your queries, no capsule to swallow, no open book to glance at. It was only after his samadhi in 1949 that Thakur’s devotees were able to write about their guru.

Dr. Das Gupta was a well-known doctor in Calcutta and known by Thakur’s devotees as ‘Doctor Dada.’ He never missed an opportunity to be with Thakur when he was nearby. One day, while driving his car, he saw Thakur on the road. He stopped and asked when he had arrived in Calcutta and where he was staying. Thakur did not reply to the questions. Instead he said, “Everyone knows that Duryodhan was a very wicked person. He had one hundred brothers. You may read the whole of the Mahabharata but you will not find anywhere that he had any quarrel with his brothers or that he did not love them.”

His words had their effect. The Doctor thrust his hand into the car, picked up a file of papers, tore them up and threw them away. When he looked up, Thakur was gone. The Doctor had been on his way to the High Court, where he was fighting a case against his brothers about his share in the family property. Inquiring later, he learned that Thakur had been in Simla for the whole week and had not gone anywhere.

– Excerpt from The Near and the Dear by Dada Mukerjee