As we approach Guru Purnima on July 9, we look back at the historical tradition of this nation which revered the Guru – a culture which is unfortunately almost lost in modern times. Guru Purnima was cherished throughout the country in the past and was seen as a possibility to receive Grace. To revive this culture, we present a collection of inspiring stories from the lives of Gurus past, narrated by Sadhguru, which illustrate the unique methods each Master employed to bring transformation to disciples.

In this installment, Sadhguru tells the story of Vivekananda’s demand to Ramakrishna to provide proof of God.

Sadhguru: When he was just 19 years of age, Vivekananda was a very logical, intellectual boy, and was full of fire. He wanted proper answers for everything. He came to Ramakrishna and asked, “You are talking God, God all the time. Where is the proof? Show me the proof!” Ramakrishna was so simple. He was not an educated man. He was a mystic, not a scholar. So he said, “I am the proof.”

Vivekananda did not know what to say because this was just utterly crazy. He was expecting some great intellectual explanation – “The proof of God is the seed sprouting and the planet spinning.” But Ramakrishna said, “I am the proof God exists.” “The way I am is the proof” – is what Ramakrishna was saying. Vivekananda did not know what to say and he left.

Three days later, he came back and asked, “Okay, can you show me God?” Ramakrishna asked, “Do you have the courage to see?” The brave boy said, “Yes” because this was tormenting him. So Ramakrishna just placed his foot on Vivekananda’s chest and Vivekananda went into a certain period of samadhi where he was beyond the limitations of the mind. He did not come out of it for almost 12 hours and when he did, he was never the same boy again.

Editor’s Note: Celebrate Guru Purnima by joining the Satsang with Sadhguru at Isha Yoga Center. Register to join in-person or via live webstream at your local Isha Center or at home.