Ramakrishna Paramahansa


Ramakrishna Parmahamsa is perhaps the best known saint of nineteenth century India. He was born in a poor Brahmin family in 1836, in a small town near Calcutta, West Bengal. As a young man, he was artistic and a popular storyteller and actor. His parents were religious, and prone to visions and spiritual dreams. Ramakrishna's father had a vision of the god Gadadhara (Vishnu) while on a religious pilgrimage. In the vision, the god told him that he would be born into the family as a son. Young Ramakrishna was prone to experiences of spiritual reverie and temporary loss of consciousness. His early spiritual experiences included going into a state of rapture while watching the flight of a cranes, and loosing consciousness of the outer world while playing the role of the god Shiva in a school play. Ramakrishna had little interest in school or practical things of the world. In 1866, he became a priest at a recently dedicated temple to the Goddess Kali located near Calcutta on the Ganges River. It was built by a pious widow, Rani Rasmani. Ramakrishna became a full-time devotee to the goddess spending increasing amounts of time giving offerings and meditating on her. He meditated in a sacred grove of five trees on the edge of the temple grounds seeking a vision of the goddess Kali.


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In 1855 Ramkumar was appointed as the priest of Dakshineswar Kali Temple, built by Rani Rashmoni—a rich woman of Calcutta who belonged to the kaivarta community. Ramakrishna, along with his nephew Hriday, became assistants to Ramkumar, with Ramakrishna given the task of decorating the deity. When Ramkumar died in 1856, Ramakrishna took his place as the priest of the Kali temple. The name Ramakrishna is said to have been given to him by Mathur Babu, the son-in-law of Rani Rashmoni. After Ramkumar's death Ramakrishna became more contemplative. He began to look upon the image of the goddess Kali as his mother and the mother of the universe. He became seized by a desire to have a darshana (vision) of Kali—a direct realization of her reality—and believed the stone image to be living and breathing and taking food out of his hand. At times he would weep bitterly and cry out loudly while worshipping, and would not be comforted, because he could not see his mother Kali as perfectly as he wished. People became divided in their opinions—some held Ramakrishna to be mad, and some took him to be a great lover of God. Ramakrishna was said to become deeply offended when others would not show the same level of devotion for the goddess Kali as he did. He would become angry when others would tell him that he was not really experiencing the presence of Kali. Yet Through his faith, and his spiritual devotion, others would soon begin to believe in not only what Ramakrishna was seeing, but in his teachings as well. One day, brought to the point of suicide by this longing, he had the experience of goddess Kali as the universal Mother, which he described as "... houses, doors, temples and everything else vanished altogether; as if there was nothing anywhere! And what I saw was an infinite shoreless sea of light; a sea that was consciousness. However far and in whatever direction I looked, I saw shining waves, one after another, coming towards me." Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, founded the Rama Krishna Mission to promote the teachings of his Guru. Headquartered at the Ramakrishna Ashram of Belur, the mission aims at helping people in attaining salvation. Teachings of Ramakrishna Ramakrishna believed and taught that… . All living beings are divine. . Human beings are equal and there is oneness of existence. . The main obstructions in the attainment of salvation are lust and greed. . There is only one God. . The main aim of each and every human being is to become one with God.


, INDIA

Posted By : Vinod Jindal on Dec 16, 2010


 
 

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