About this time, when Ramakrishna had finished his Tantrik practices, a wandering monk named Jatadhari came to Dakshineswar. He had long hair and was aged. He was a great devotee and had with him a beautiful image of Child Rama, whom he loved very much. He had visions of him and called him ‘Ramlala’. For him the image was living. He nursed him, fed and played with him, and even put him to bed.

Ramakrishna understood Jatadhari’s state and his love for Ramlala, though Jatadhari had told none about it; for Ramakrishna could himself see the divine play of Ramlala. Slowly, Ramlala became intimate with Ramakrishna too. He would stay most of the time in his room and play with him. He would run into the hot sun. Ramakrishna would scold him: ‘Hey, don’t run in the sun. Your feet will get blisters.’ Ramlala would not like to get out of the water after bathing in the Ganga. He would ignore Ramakrishna’s warning: ‘You will catch cold. Come out.’

Jatadhari stayed at Dakshineswar for many months, for Ramlala was not willing to leave Ramakrishna and go with him. One day he came to Ramakrishna with tears in his eyes and said: ‘Ramlala has fulfilled my wish and given me his Darshan (vision). He is happy in your company; and I am happy when he is happy. So I shall leave him with you and go my way.’

Ramlala was with Ramakrishna during the rest of his life. Even many years later, devotees who went to Dakshineswar found the Ramlala image there.

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