Ramakrishna’s first photograph

Today during the discourse swamiji narrated how the first photograph came about. Bhavnath, one of his devotees, got the photographer and asked Ramakrishna(RK) if he could take his picture. RK apparently did not like it and went and sat in the radhakrishna temple. Narendra (Vivekananda) happened to pass by and offered to help Bhavnath. He asked him to wait and went in to meet RK. RK, as always, was jubiliant on seeing Narendra. Narendra started asking him difficult questions in advaita. While answering him RK went into samadhi at which point Narendra asked the photographer to take the picture. However, RK’s posture was slightly inclined and the photographer tried to get the posture straight. However, when he tried to do so RK’s body floated up like a piece of paper. Narendra intervened, asked him to not touch and offered to correct the posture. The picture was taken. Later when the picture was shown to RK he was delighted and said that that was how people in a high state of yoga looked like. He added that this picture would be worshipped by lakhs of people. An enlarged version of this picture is in the main worship hall at Bangalore RK math.

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