Ramakrishna’s Photo


The anecdote of Ramakrishna kissing the feet in his own photograph

Just watching Mahavira’s statue you may fall into a meditative state. That was their original function. They were not made to be worshipped, they were made to make you aware of a certain state. The statue is of a certain state, not of a certain man; that man is irrelevant.

It happened that some photographer took a picture of Ramakrishna. That was his first picture and the photographer was very happy. He brought the large framed picture to present to Ramakrishna who was sitting with his disciples. He took the picture in his hand and kissed the feet in the picture. The photographer could not believe it! Is this man sane or insane? His own picture, and he is kissing the feet!


Vivekananda, his chief disciple, was sitting by the side. He said, “Paramahansadeva, what are you doing? This is your own picture. Have you seen it or not?” He thought he had not looked at the picture… Just that the man had given it to him, and he must have thought it was some god’s picture, so he had kissed it.

Ramakrishna said, “Is it so? Let me look.” He looked and he said, “Yes, it is my picture,” and he kissed the feet again!
Vivekananda said, “Now this is too much.”

Ramakrishna said, “I am not kissing my own feet. This is a picture of a state, it has nothing to do with me. Just look at the picture,” he said, “It is a picture of a certain state. The body is just the outer lines, but look into the eyes, look into the face. And I remember perfectly where I was when this picture was taken: I was in samadhi, so it is a picture of samadhi. And I say to you that only this picture should be distributed, no other picture.”

So only that picture hangs in the houses of people who worship Ramakrishna, because that picture was worshipped by Ramakrishna himself. It is absurd logically, but just a little bit of patience and you can see the point. It is a picture of a state. It is immaterial whether Ramakrishna was in that state or Mahavira was in that state or Buddha was in that state. It is immaterial – what matters is that consciousness.

Good music, good poetry, can raise your consciousness. They can create the situation for the entry into the third. Very few musicians have been there very few poets, very few painters, and very few sculptors are capable of creating such artifacts that can give you a resonance inside you.

From Osho, Misery to Enlightenment, Ch 5 included in the compilation Art Expressed through Meditation

Note: We are not sure if this is the exact photo of Ramakrishna which is mentioned in the story.

Comments are closed.