Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is one of the most well known saints of this country. A spiritual leader who promoted religious harmony through his life. An ideal for Spiritual Seekers.
Ramakrishna was born Gadhadhar into a Vaishnava Brahmin family on February 18th, 1836, at Kamarkupur, in West Bengal. Prior to his birth, his parents had mystical visions, indicating the birth of a great soul as their son.
Birth Place of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Spiritually inclined at young age
The seeds of spirituality were sown in Ramakrishna at a very young age. He had the opportunity to meet many saints at a tender age and was influenced by the stories of Ramayana and Puranas, narrated by them.
First Spiritual Experience
Ramakrishna had his first spiritual experience at the age of six. While visualising white cranes in the backdrop of dark clouds in the sky, he became absorbed in this scene and lost external consciousness. He experienced great bliss in that ethereal state. Ramakrishna had many such experiences in his childhood.
Priest at Kali Temple
Ramakrishna became the priest of the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple in 1856. From then on, he was drawn to the deity at the shrine and became an ardent devotee of Devi Kali. He had many spiritual experiences with the Divine Mother and many times lost outward consciousness, being immersed in bliss.
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple in those days
Dakshineshwar Kali Temple as it stands today
Ramakrishna married Saradamani Mukhopadhyaya, now respectfully called Sarada Devi in the year 1859.
Even into Married life, Ramakrishna was never distracted from his spiritual endeavour.
Showing Religious Harmony in Practice
Ramakrishna undertook many sadhana, spiritual practices through his life. He sought to show to the world that,
“As there are a number of beliefs, there are a number of ways to Divinity” .
Ramakrishna awakened people to this harmonious thought not just through his teachings, but in actual practice.
Practicing Islam & Christianity
Ramakrishna practiced other religions including Christianity and Islam.
While practicing the tenets of Islam, Ramakrishna dressed himself as an Arab Muslim, performed Namaz 5 times each day and continuously repeated the names of Allah. After 3 days, he had a vision of Prophet Mohammed merging in his body.
Ramakrishna had a vision of Jesus Christ merging in his body when he undertook to practice Christianity.
Epitome of Religious harmony
Similarly, Ramakrishna undertook spiritual practices pertaining to many religious sect and every time had the vision of the respective deity. He also practiced the Advaitic Sadhana and realized the One Formless Divinity.
Ramakrishna thus became an epitome of religious harmony in the country.
Ramakrishna, An Epitome of religious harmony
A True Paramahamsa
From Spiritual Seeker, Ramakrishna had now become a Spiritual Master. Ramakrishna began to attract many spiritual seekers who felt they were face to face with a highly evolved Guru. He was now popularly known as Ramakrishna ‘Paramahamsa’, with the latter honorific title meaning ‘A fully blossomed soul’.
A cinematic representation of a devotee by name Rasiklal surrendering to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Guru to Swami Vivekananda
Ramakrishna is the one who inspired Swami Vivekananda, his chief disciple into spiritual life and to carry out the mission of unravelling Indian wisdom and revealing it to people, both in India and in the West.
In this light, Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission to propagate the teachings of his Guru.
Ramakrishna passed away on August 16th, 1886 at Cossipore, West Bengal.
A Continuous Source of Spiritual Inspiration
Apart from Vivekananda, Ramakrishna inspired many spiritual seekers through his life and continues to kindle the spiritual fervour in many youth of this country, even today. The result has been that Ramakrishna Mission has spread to every nook and corner of this land and the world.
Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai
Ramakrishna Mission, Bangalore
Ramakrishna Mission, Pune and Hyderabad
Ramakrishna Mission, Agartala and Delhi
Today, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa continues to live in the hearts of his millions of devotees.