Ramakrishna Paramahansa was an Indian Hindu mystic and saint in the nineteenth century Bengal. Swami Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk and a chief disciple of Ramakrishna. Once Ramakrishna attained enlightenment, his focus on Vivekananda grew even more since he saw the latter as a means to spread his message around the world; he saw Vivekananda as a vehicle. And even Vivekananda had immense reverence towards his master. Their bond is something which is talked about in a cherishable manner even today.
There is a very wonderful story about an incident which occurred with the both of them. One day, Vivekananda’s mother grew extremely sick. He grew very angry and frustrated because he had no medicine or food to provide her with. It agitated him, his inability to take care of his mother when she was sick. And when a man like Vivekananda gets angry, we all can assume what that means.
So he went to Ramakrishna, to whom he said, “How is this spirituality of any use to me? Had I not followed the spiritual steps, I would have been employed like an ordinary person and I would have been able to provide food, medicine and some comfort to my sick mother.”
Ramakrishna was a devout worshipper of Kali. So he asked Vivekananda to step into the shrine of Kali in his house and ask the Mother for what he wanted. And so his disciple went inside.
After about an hour, Vivekananda came outside. And Ramakrishna asked him if he had asked the Mother for food, medicines or whatever else he needed.
Vivekananda said, “I forgot.” And so he was asked to return to the shrine and do the needful.
Once he stepped out after the second time, Ramakrishna asked him the same question, to which he received the same answer.
And so Vivekananda went inside again and this time, he came out after eight hours.
“Did you ask the Mother?”, said Ramakrishna. Vivekananda said, “No, I will not ask. I have no need to ask.”
Ramakrishna replied with a smile and said, “Good, if you had asked then today would have been our last day together.”
Prayerfulness is a fundamental aspect of life. If you become worshipful, you are on the right track. But praying with an expectation that one might get something in return is only something a fool would do.