Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/600

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ISVAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR.

The reader is, no doubt, familiar with the name of the saintly Ram Krishna Paramahansa, whose purity of manners, honesty of purpose, and pious conduct had drawn to him many disciples. He was fond of the company of pious and honest persons. One day he said to his disciples that he wanted to have an interview with the famous Vidyasagar. His disciples asked him why he so wished. He replied, because without God's love and divine grace, Vidyasagar could jiot have been so great. Accordingly he presented himself one evening before our hero. No sooner did he appear, than Vidyasagar rose from his seat and advanced to receive him; but before he could approach the Paramahansa, the latter sat down before him upon the floor of the room, and said,—'I have crossed drains and ditches, pools and tanks, and at last I am come to the Sagar (sea).' Vidyasagar replied,—'As you are already come, there is no help; you may take out some salt water, if you like, or if you cast your net, you will fish only shells; there is nothing in this sea but salt water and shells.' The Paramahansa said,—' Why should I take out salt water? There is not merely a sea of salt; there are a sea of milk, a sea of curd, a sea of honey, and so forth. You are not a sea of ignorance; you are one of knowledge. When I have come to you, I will fish out pearls; you are full of pearls.' After such humorous talks for some time, they fell to serious conversation on different topics,

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