Sri Ramakrishna was known for his extraordinary spiritual sensitivity. By his keen spiritual intuition he was able to feel and enjoy any true spiritual ambience. His moods of spiritual transcendence would intensify in such places where there was a strong spiritual current or atmosphere. Once he accompanied Mathur Babu (son-in-law of Rani Rasmani and Manager of Dakshineswar Estate) on a pilgrimage to Benaras. The sight of the holy river Ganga and the darshan of the Vishwanath temple kindled extraordinary spiritual emotions in him. He had a wonderful vision. This was very similar to the traditional belief that whosoever dies in Varanasi is liberated or attains Mukti by the grace of Lord Shiva. In his vision he saw that Mother Parvati was untying knots of dead bodies and Lord Shiva was repeating Tarak Mantra in the ears of the dead, after which they were being liberated.
One of the monastic disciples of the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi posed a question to her. He said that the vision of Sri Ramakrishna contradicts scriptural sanction. According to scriptures Mukti is possible only after ignorance is destroyed. He could not understand Sri Ramakrishna’s vision in which people dying in Benaras were blessed with liberation by Lord Shiva by chanting Tarak Mantra in their ears. He was all the more confused because there was a strong belief that Sri Ramakrishna’s experiences never contradict scriptural injunctions, rather they strengthen them. Hence, he sought clarification from the Holy Mother. Although she never had any formal education, the Holy Mother was a huge storehouse of wisdom. Instantaneously she replied stating, “My dear, where is the contradiction in Sri Ramakrishna’s spiritual experience. When Divine Mother Parvati was untying the knots, she was untying the knots of ignorance. Shiva gave the Tarak Mantra to the dead only after the removal of ignorance and hence there is no contradiction.”
Spiritual wisdom and illumination come out of intense Sadhana or spiritual striving.