Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was born on 18 February 1836, Bengal, Hugli district, Kamarpukur village.
His father, Kudiram Chatterjee and mother Chandramani belonged to a poor brahmin family.
Childhood of Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
His childhood name was Gadadhara.
Young Ramakrishna underwent normal schooling but was greatly influenced by his father’s simplicity and ideals.
Sadly, when he was just 7 years old, his father passed away.
Hence, his mother and elder brother Rajakumara brought him up.
However, school life didn’t suit him.
Well, how can an enlightened mahatma fancy dry bookish knowledge.
Ramakrishna paramahamsa in Kolkata
At the age of 17, he shifted to Kolkata at his elder brother’s call.
There he took his brother’s place as a pujari and served queen Rasamani’s Dakshineswar temple.
Ramakrishna wanted to behond the universal mother Kali..
Hence, in his love, he often made mistakes during his worship.
Sometimes he would lay on the temple ground and piteously call out-
“Mother, today’s day went futile.
You did not come.
One day has gone in vain.
Still I am far from truth”
Tales of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
There are numerous interesting anecdotes regarding Ramakrishna’s worship.
Once in his earnestness to behold the universal mother he reached the Panchavati forest.
There he discarded his brahmanical thread and dhoti.
Subsequently, he sat under an Amla tree in deep rapture.
His nephew Hridaya climbed up the tree and threw pebbles at him to scare him.
However, on seeing him undaunted, Hridya shouted-
“You can very well meditate.
But why do you sit like a mad man removing your sacred thread and dhoti?”
Ramakrishna replied- “What do you know?
Since birth, man is bound by eight shackles of Hate, shyness, lineage, modesty, fear, mind, caste, and pride.
The sacred threads instills pride of higher caste.
Dhoti keeps shyness intact.
Hence, one must withdraw all bondage.”
Again, after his meditation, Ramakrishna would wear his sacred thread and dhoti.
Ramakrishna’s thirst to see mother Kali
Seeing Ramakrishna’s elevated moods people often would mistake him to be a mad man.
For hours, he would meditate and yearn for the divine mother’s vision.
One day when his restlessness had reached its peak, he saw that all his surroundings had vanished.
Now, he saw an infinite, endless, ocean of light and consciousness, drowning him into the nether regions.
He heaved a sigh and fell unconscious.
Suddenly, his divine mother appeared for him.
Now, He saw the creative force in mother’s universal foem.
Greatness of India
In foriegn countries people often address God as ‘father’.
But it is India alone who acknowledges God as one’s mother.
All are aware of a mother’s love and care.
In this regard swami ramakrishna says-
“I love calling god as mother because a childs feels more free with his mother.
Which is why he loves his mother more than anybody else.”
Thus, we derive pure love and satvik strength.
In fact, Ramakrishna’s heart was pure and innocent like that of a child.
Those days, child marriage was prevalent.
Hence Ramakrishna got married early.
When his wife came to Dakshineswar, Ramakrishna had already developed dispassion.
Hence he directly fell at his wife’s feet and said-
“I want to wholly serve my divine mother.
I shall keep away from family life.
Kindly give me your consent.”
His wife Sharada Devi was a pious soul.
So, very lovingly she encouraged her husband in his spiritual pursuit.
His darshan was the greatest blessing for her.
Later she became one of his foremost disciples and till her last she led a life of purity and altruism.
About Sarada Devi
All of Ramakrishna’s disciples called her ‘Mata’.
Here, Swamiji saw mother Kali in all women.
Even in regards to his wife, he would say-
“The mother who sustains the creation and resides in our temple, Sharada is that very mother.”
Ramakrishna’s love for mother Kali
Even on beholding mother kali’s divine effulgence, Ramakrishna would cry like a small child for nourishment.
Sometime he would say- “Ma, I want to see you again. Truly, I can’t bear your separation.”
Even the divine mother couldn’t see her son crying.
So, she came again and stood before him-
On seeing her, he immediately said-
“Ma, why do you leave me like this?
I can’t stay even one moment without you.”
Mother Kali said- “Mad child, can I ever stay away from you? I am your mother, I shall always be with you.”
On hearing mother’s consolation, his restlessness disappeared. Now he was a changed man.
Now, while deity-worship, he would talk to mother, laugh, sometimes show anger, and sometimes cry like a child holding her feet.
Again, he would place Kaliji’s flowers on his head without due offering.
Sometimes he would himself eat mother’s offerings or feed them to domestic pets.
Now, the temple authorities grew frightened at his absurdities.
Hence they complained to the queen.
Finally Mathura babu and the queen saw Ramakrishna and got convinced of his pure devotion. Since then they considered him to be god-sent.
Spiritual journey of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
A Sadhaka finds his path. He doesn’t need to wander in search of a guru.
Hence, one day an old sanyasini inadvertently reached Dakshineshwar.
She considered Ramakrishna like her own son.
Hence, she made him perform numerous tantric rites.
Thereafter Ramakrishna undertook yogic guidance from a mahatma named Totapuri and seriously studied the Vedas.
Totapuri granted him sannyasa and named him ‘Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’.
Ramakrishna follows islam and christianity
Ramakrishna saw all religions alike.
Indeed, he followed judaism, zoroastrianism, christianity, and islam too.
He rigorously followed the islamic injunctions. During that phase, he stopped visiting temples and maintained a long beard.
Accordingly, he uttered the Quran and pondered over its teachings.
Once, Ramakrishna saw the image of christ, lying on his mother’s lap
On seeing the image, overwhelmed with love, Ramakrishna uttered ‘ma (mother)’.
Soon he entered into Samadhi.
Now he started pondering over Christianty.
Hence, during those days he looked like a true christian.
He kept an image of Jesus in Dakshineswar temple which is see even today.
Indeed, he saw Christ as the ‘son of god’ and bowed before him.
Hence, he was not just secular but also convinced about their authenticity.
In fact, he deemed all paths as authorized means for god-realization.
Ramakrishna discards his brahmanism
Once Ramakrishna considered his Brahminism to be a great roadblock in his spiritual journey. This mindset brings a supritortiy complex and hinders the vision of oneness.
Hence, he threw off his sacred thread and like an outcaste swept the filth on the streets.
In fact, he broomed a Chandal’s (Degraded caste) hut with his own hair.
These actions are not justifiable for common men and cannot be wholly followed.
However, Ramakrishna was truly a compassionate being.
On seeing others unhappy, he would try means to please them.
Ramakrishna enters samadhi
Paramahamsa spent most of his time in samdhi, or deep meditative trance.
In his final years, he toured to Kashi, Vrindavan, Prayag etc.
Ramakrishna’s were very simple and direct.
Through ordinary incidents, he would convey a hard-hitting reality.
He believed that love, compassion and service can reform the world.
Thousands of men follow his teachings and feel blessed.
The chairman of Brahma Samaj, Keshava chandrasena writes-
“I am truly fortunate.
I was in touch with Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Truly, Paramahamsa stands par with Christ and Chaitanya.
He is of an exceptional demeanor.”
Disciple of Swami Ramakrishna
Narendera Nath, acclaimed as Vivekandanda had finished his BA degree.
However, due to foreign influences, he developed an atheistic belief.
Hence, he asked Paramahamsa-
“Do you believe in the existence of God?”
“The experience of God for me is more vivid than speaking to you.”
For the very first time, Narendra had heard a man speak so boldly about his interaction with god.
Hence, he daily visited him and assimilated his teachings.
With regards to Paramahamsa, he writes-
“An elevated soul can transform one’s entire life.
I have heard of Buddha, Christ, Muhammad, and many ancient spiritualists performing miracles.
I totally agree.
On seeing this one ordinary man, my atheism has vanished forever.”
The very same Swami Vivekananda preached Sanatana dharma in America.
Numerous American scientists became his disciples.
In fact, Today many branches of the Ramakrishna mission run successfully in India and America.
Ramakrishna passes away
Once due to winters, Ramakrishna developed a swelling on his throat.
However, the swelling grew and turned into a painful wound. No treatment worked.
Now due to the inflammation ,even consuming milk became difficult.
The master’s body became a skeleton.
In addition, the disease caused acute pain.
Yet, he remained smiling.
One day a disciple enquired-
“Swamiji! You can certainly cure your disease.
Why don’t you cure yourself?”
Immediately Swamiji replied-
“I have taken all your sins upon myself to redeem you all.
Hence, someone must suffer their reactions.”
Finally, on Shravan Purnima, Swami Ramakrishna passed away.
His soul left his transitory body and merged into the divine glow.
Finally on 15 August, 1886, at the age of 51, Swamiji made his final departure.
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