If you want to go east, don’t go west.

God is our inner controller; He will certainly listen to our prayer if it is sincere.

Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day.

At a certain stage in the path of devotion, the devotee finds satisfaction in God with form, and at another stage, in God without it.

When one has love for God, one doesn’t feel any physical attraction to wife, children, relatives and friends. One retains only compassion for them.

The goal can never be reached unless a man makes his mind strong and firmly resolves that he must realize God in this very birth, nay, in this very moment.

God cannot be seen so long as there is the slightest taint of desire. Therefore have your minor desires satisfied , and renounce the major ones through right reasoning and discrimination.

Life

Birth: Gadadhar, as Ramakrishna was known in his early days, was born to Khudiram Chattopâdhyâya, and Chandramani Devî, on February 18, 1836 , in the village of Kamarpukur, in the Hooghly district of West Bengal.

Realization: At the age of six or seven, Gadadhar (Ramakrishna) had an intense experience of spiritual ecstasy. He was walking along the paddy fields and suddenly looked up to find a flock of white cranes flying with dark thunder-clouds as a background. To him, that was a beautiful sight, he was so absorbed that he lost consciousness of everything outward. He later said that in that state he had experienced an indescribable joy. Gadadhar had experiences of similar nature a few other times in his childhood.
He practiced Vaishnava and Sakti bhakti, Vedanta, Tantra, and other spiritual disciplines and realized that all paths lead to the same ultimate goal.

Under the guidance of Totapuri(a wandering monk ), Ramakrishna experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is considered to be the highest state in spiritual realization.

The Bhairavi, an orange robed female ascetic appeared at Dakshineshwar. with the yogic techniques and the tantra played an important part in the initial spiritual development of Ramakrishna.

Death: Ramakrishna died on August 16, 1886 at the Cossipore garden house.

Teaching Style: Ramakrishna conveyed his spiritual and moral messages through tales and parables. Ramakrishna incessantly conversed, mostly about religious matters with his visitors, along with some Sankirtana and bhajans. Ramakrishna used very simple rustic language, parables, apologies and humor, in a style which kept visitors enthralled.

In preparation for monastic life, Ramakrishna ordered his monastic disciples to beg their food from door to door without distinction of caste. He gave them the saffron robe, the sign of the Sanyasin, and initiated them with Mantra Deeksha.

Fame: Various supernatural incidents are recounted in connection with Ramakrishna’s birth. He had a natural gift for the fine arts like drawing and clay modeling. Ramakrishna, indeed, demonstrated creative genius in bridging all religions by practicing each of them. He may very well be the first, if not the only, person to practice the major religions of the world to come to the conclusion that they lead to the same God. Ramakrishna and his movement played a leading role in the modern revival of Hinduism in India, and on modern Indian history. He represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. His religious school of thought led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his prominent disciple Swami Vivekananda.

Legacy : Ramakrishna was considered an avatar or incarnation of God by many of his disciples, and is considered as such by many of his devotees today. As his name spread, an ever shifting crowd of all classes and castes visited Ramakrishna—”Maharajahs and beggars, journalists and pandits, artists and devotees, Brahmos, Christians, and Mohammedans, men of faith, men of action and business, old men, women and children”. Vevekananda, Ramakrishna’s most illustrious disciple, is considered by some to be one of his most important legacies. Vivekananda spread the message of Ramakrishna across the world.

Teachings

Key concepts in Ramakrishna’s teachings included the oneness of existence and the unity and truth of all religions.Ramakrishna emphasized that God-realization is the supreme goal of all living beings.

Ramakrishna said: “I have practiced all religions—Hinduism, Islam, Christianity—and I have also followed the paths of the different Hindu sects. I have found that it is the same God toward whom all are directing their steps, though along different paths. You must try all beliefs and traverse all the different ways once. Wherever I look, I see men quarreling in the name of religion—Hindus, Mohammedans, Brahmos, Vaishnavas, and the rest. But they never reflect that He who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well—the same Rama with a thousand names…”

Ramakrishna’s mystical experiences through different religions led him to teach that various religions are different means to reach absolute knowledge and bliss—and that the different religions cannot express the totality of absolute truth, but can express aspects of it.

Ramakrishna taught that the primal bondage in human life is Kama-Kanchana (lust and gold). When speaking to men, Ramakrishna warned them against kamini-kanchan, or “women and gold”. When speaking to women, he warned them against purusha-kanchana, or “man and gold”.

Ramakrishna recognized differences among religions but realized that in spite of these differences, all religions lead to the same ultimate goal, and hence they are all valid and true.

According to him brahmanda, the visible universe and many other universes, are mere bubbles emerging out of Brahman, the supreme ocean of intelligence.

He told that “Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal.”

There are pearls in the deep sea, but one must hazard all to find them. If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to be rewarded in the end. So is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first attempt proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to realize Him at last.

What are you to do when you are placed in the world? Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will.

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