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That shimmering cusp of time

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 14:46 IST
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The Broken Idol A True Tale from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that illumines our larger emotional responsibility to religious reform, goes like this.

Rani Rashmani Devi was the founder of Kolkata’s famous Dakshineshwar temple on the eastern bank of the Ganga. The presiding deity is Bhavatarini (Kali) and there are twelve Shiva temples in the complex as also the temple to Lord Krishna known as the Radhakant Temple, graced by an idol of Lord Krishna in black marble.

One day, while being ritually bathed by the priest, it slipped and fell from his hands and a leg was broken. The pujari  requested Rani Rashmani Devi to replace the idol as it was inauspicious to worship a broken idol, according to Hindu tradition. He declared that the broken idol should be thrown into the Ganga. Rani Rashmani was upset because she was deeply attached to this particular image.

A young pujari, Ramakrishna (Paramahamsa), came up. Seeing how upset Rani Rashmani was, he said he would set the idol right and it could be reinstalled again as a focus point for worship. The old pujari however insisted that the image be replaced. Sri Ramakrishna then said to the rani, “Ranima, if the leg of your son-in-law Mathur Babu (who was more than a son to the rani as she had none of her own) were to break, would you throw him away and get another son-in-law, or would you have him treated and restored?” The rani was convinced by this argument and the beloved image was reinstalled after repair, where it may still be seen and reverenced.

The Broken Idol A True Tale from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that illumines our larger emotional

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