Who is Ramakrishna? What are they Interests and Works?
Ramakrishna was a great Hindu saint, mystic and bhakta through his life and teachings he made people realize that God alone is real and all else false, an illusion. His whole life was religion in practice. His devotion to God was complete and unique. His life has been an object lesson in piety, devotion to God, self-realization and the ideals and values of Hinduism.
Ramakrishna was born in a religious Brahmin family of Chatterjees or Chattopadhaya in Bengal at the village Karampukur in the Hooghly district. Khudiram was his father and Chandramani his mother. They were simple, religious, God-Fearing and honest and devoted to Lord Rama. Besides Ramakrishna they had four other children.
They were blessed with the birth of Ramakrishna on February 17, 1836. Before that Channdramani, the mother of Ramakrishna had my divine visions and dreams about the coming child. Khudiram too had a vision about Rama Krishna’s spiritual and attainments. They boy was named Gadadhara, meaning the mace better.
Works and Education Life
Too many supernatural things happened after the birth of Gadadhara, for example, Chandramni sometimes found the baby too heavy to carry and other times too light like a handful of flowers. At school he took no interest in studies. He found a great interest in the epics, religious stories and biographies of great saints.
When he grew older, he would often to go into deep mediation leading to a state of trance. His father died in 1843. It brought a marked change in boy Gadadhara and he began to enjoy to more and more the company of holy persons and sadhus.
This association with monks etc. made his practice more and more of mediation. By then he was nine years old and invested with a holy thread. When he was 17 years old, he joined his elder brother Ramkumar in Kolkatta where he kept a teaching Toll besides officiated as a family priest.
Ramakrishna was given the duties of priest which he performed quite satisfactorily. His piety, devotion, honesty and purity of heart impressed everyone. Later Ramakrishna was appointed the permanent priest of the famous Dakshineshwar Kali temple.
It is here at Dakshineshwar that Ramakrishna practiced asceticism, deep mediation, reciting the thousand names of God. Consequently, he began to have vision of the Divine Mother Kali. Gradually this realization deepened and he began to have long spells of divine intoxication. With it is Sadhna grew more intense.
Ramakrishna was married to Sardamini Devi at the age of 23 in spite of his total indifference to all worldly affairs. This he did to please and comfort his old mother. His wife also then became a valuable partner in his serve austerities, sadhna and meditations.=He often suffered from divine madness and had prolonged spiritual fits which ultimately led him to God-realization. He always looked upon his wife Sarda Devi as the visible representation of the Divine Mother.
Practicing in Many Religions
Ramakrishna realized God through other major religious practices, sadhanas and prayers including Christianity and Islam. He heard with great interest the life-story of Jesus Christ and then followed his teachings practically. His reverence for Buddha was no less. He regarded him as an incarnation of God. His deep thirst of God-realization in all his aspects and manifestations led him to the practice of Islam.
Ramakrishna practicing also he had ecstatic visions and spiritual realization. He firmly believed that God is one and common all religious. He put this faith into practice and he had God-realization through all these methods and practices.
Ramakrishna had many great and famous disciples but Vivekananda was most prominent of these. His original name was Narendra Nath. His deep religious disposition led him to the temple of Dakshineshwar where he became a devotee and disciple of Ramakrishna after many serve tests and trails of his guru.
Ramakrishna’s genuine spiritual greatness and God-realization revolutionized Narendra’s mind and ultimately he renounced the world. Initially Vivekananda argued much with Ramakrishna against image-worship, rituals and sadhna and wanted a direct proof about the existence of God, but gradually, he realized Ramakrishna’s true greatness and began himself to have visions and trances in mediation.
His close and affectionate association with Ramakrishna totally changed his life and he change himself a great spiritual teacher, guide and guru. Vivekananda created Ramakrishna Mission in association with his fellow-disciples and monks.
Met with Vidyasagar and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Ramakrishna was contemporary of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. When he met them, they were deeply influenced and impressed by his extraordinary spiritual personality. He had many notable and well-known devotees who felt highly privileged to spend a few hours in his divine company listening his teachings and sermons which were often so simple, full of saying, epigrams, anecdotes and in the form of dialogues.
Grish Chandra Ghose and Chandra Sen
Grish and Keshab were among these fortunate devotees. During the last few years of his life, Ramakrishna suffered from acute throat trouble which was diagnosed as “Clergyman’s sore throat.” It gradually aggravated and developed into a cancer. He died and entered Mahasamadhi on 16th August, 1886.