Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, There have been many great saints in our country. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is one of them. We call a very great saint a Paramahamsa.
There have been many great saints in our country. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is one of them. We call a very great saint a Paramahamsa. Sri Ramakrishna was born to pious parents in a village called Kamarpukar in Bengal in the year 1836. His parents named him Gadadhar.
From a very early age, he showed signs of becoming a God-man.His parents put him in school. He did not, however, show any interest in studies. All the same, he won the hearts of the villagers by his devotion and love.
Sri Ramakrishna, as he was later called, had an elder brother by name Ram Kumar. He was a priest in the temple of Kali at Dakshineshwar near Calcutta. Sri Ramakrishna helped him in the temple.
When Sri Ramakrishna was but 20 years old, Ram Kumar died. The temple authorities appointed Sri Ramakrishna as the temple priest after his brother. From that time Sri Ramakrishna’s love of God increased.
For 12 years he practised many spiritual sadhanas or ways of worshipping God. One day he desperately wanted to see Mother Kali face to face. He prayed to Her, but not seeing Her, he snatched the sword from the hand of the Kali image and was about to thrust it into his body. At once he fell down unconscious.
In this state, he had a unique experience. He realised that everything in this world was filled with Kali or God.
He would often fall into meditation whenever he saw a cloud or a group of birds flying in the air. He thought they were forms of God.
One evening, after puja, Sir Ramakrishna returned to his room. At midnight, he heard the jingle of anklets. He ran up the steps of the temple following the sound. What did he see? He saw Mother Kali as a young girl with flowing hair, looking out at the river Ganga!
From that day Sri Ramakrishna became a different person. He was fully God-possessed. But people thought that he had become mad.
Sri Ramakrishna was now 23 years old. Someone said that if he got married he would become alright. So his relatives married him to a young girl named Saradamani.
When she came to live with him, Sri Ramakrishna said to her:
"Look here; I worship all women as the Divine Mother Kali. I will worship you also as the Divine Mother."
Like the ideal Indian wife, Saradamani did not want to stand in the way of her husband’s sadhana. So she dutifully agreed.
One day Sri Ramakrishna worshipped her as the Mother Goddess Herself. From that time Saradamani became as holy as her husband. Later on, people called her the Holy Mother.
Sri Ramakrishna’s first Guru was one Bhairavi Brahmani. His second Guru was Tota Puri. From him Sri Ramakrishna learn true Advaita. Advaita means that there are really no two beings or things; all are one and that is God.
Sri Ramakrishna lived the life of a Mohammedan and found that Allah was the same God as Rama or Krishna. He lived the life of a Christian and found that Christ too was the Son of the same God as Rama or Krishna.
From his experience Sri Ramakrishna taught: "God is only one.
He appears in many forms. He is the same God of whom the Vedas speak. Man can go to Him through Bhakti or love, Gnana or knowledge or Karma or good actions."
Sri Ramakrishna had many disciples. Of them the foremost was Narendranath Dutta, who came to be known as Swami Vivekananda.
Sri Ramakrishna gave all his spiritual powers to Vivekananda to teach the world the true knowledge of God.
After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away, his disciples revered the Holy Mother and were guided by her.
Sri Ramakrishna was by nature like a child. He taught great truths by means of simple stories or examples.
One of his disciples has collected them in a book called the "Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna." It is a treasure of spiritual knowledge. You must read it when you grow up.
Many great men of the world have written on the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.
The Kali temple where Sri Ramakrishna worshipped is still at Dakshineshwar. People go there on pilgrimage.
Sri Ramakrishna was an avatar. After teaching the world the ancient truths in a simple manner and gifting to the world his spiritual son Vivekananda, he passed away in the year 1884.
Later on, Swami Vivekananda founded an order of sanyasins called the Ramakrishna Order. They have established centres all over India and the world and are doing very useful service.