Why did Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa cut Maa Kali on the order of Sadhu Totapuri even though Sri RamKrishna Paramhansa considered both Dvaita and advaita and saguna and nirguna as same and he even said that "Jato Mat Tato Pat" means there multiple ways to reach same destination. Then why did he do so what does it signify?

  • What? From the best of my understanding - he followed Shankara's Advaita and Sri Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita. I'm not sure of he talking about Davita, my best understanding is that he must have not known about it. But I'm not sure about cut thing here, Can you cite the incident?
    – User 29449
    Jan 16 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


Cutting Ma Kali is a metaphor and should not be taken literally. He found it difficult to take his mind beyond the world of form in his Advaita Sadhana. He used the sword of discrimination to go beyond the world of form and experience the Nirguna Brahman.

" ..Totapuri asked the disciple to withdraw his mind from all objects of the relative world, including the gods and goddesses, and to concentrate on the Absolute. But the task was not easy even for Sri Ramakrishna. He found it impossible to take his mind beyond Kali, the Divine Mother of the Universe. "After the initiation", Sri Ramakrishna once said, describing the event, "Nangta began to teach me the various conclusions of the Advaita Vedanta and asked me to withdraw the mind completely from all objects and dive deep into the Atman. But in spite of all my attempts I could not altogether cross the realm of name and form and bring my mind to the unconditioned state. I had no difficulty in taking the mind from all the objects of the world. But the radiant and too familiar figure of the Blissful Mother, the Embodiment of the essence of Pure Consciousness, appeared before me as a living reality. Her bewitching smile prevented me from passing into the Great Beyond. Again and again I tried, but She stood in my way every time. In despair I said to Nangta: 'It is hopeless. I cannot raise my mind to the unconditioned state and come face to face with Atman.' He grew excited and sharply said: 'What? You can't do it? But you have to.' He cast his eyes around. Finding a piece of glass he took it up and stuck it between my eyebrows. 'Concentrate the mind on this point!' he thundered. Then with stern determination I again sat to meditate. As soon as the gracious form of the Divine Mother appeared before me, I used my discrimination as a sword and with it clove Her in two. The last barrier fell. My spirit at once soared beyond the relative plane and I lost myself in samadhi."

Sri Ramakrishna remained completely absorbed in samadhi for three days. "Is it really true?" Totapuri cried out in astonishment. "Is it possible that he has attained in a single day what it took me forty years of strenuous practice to achieve? Great God! It is nothing short of a miracle!" With the help of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna's mind finally came down to the relative plane.

Introduction, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna translated by Swami Nikhilananda

His famous statement 'Jato mat tato pat' has nothing to do with Advaita Sadhana. It is simply a paraphrase of the famous Gita verse:

O Partha! Whosoever worship Me through whatsoever path, I verily accept and bless them in that way. Men everywhere follow My path.

Gita 4.11

'Cutting the form of Ma Kali with the sword of discrimination' refers to his difficulty of concentrating the mind on Nirguna Brahman.

  • Why did Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa did like that since he considers both saguna and nirguna Brahman as same and equal
    – Tech Tat
    Jan 18 at 14:35
  • He doesn't consider Saguna and Nirguna to be the same. They are equal in the sense that experience of either would lead to freedom from Samsara. Jan 19 at 4:11

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