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RAMAKRISHNA


Ramakrishna


life period : 1836 - 1886 | place of birth : West Bengal, INDIA

parents : Khudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandramani Devi

nationality : Indian 

teacher/guru : Bhairavi Brahmani | spouse : Sarada Devi 

education : Practised other religions, notably Islam and Christianity, and said that all religions lead to the same God.

website :  www.belurmath.org

“ Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind. If you say 'I am a free soul. I am a son of God who can bind me' free you shall be. 

 

“ The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth. ”

 

If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. "

 

Ramakrishna ( Popularly known as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) was a famous mystic of 19th-century India. His religious school of thought led to the formation of theRamakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda

He became a priest of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali, which had the influence of the main strands of Bengali bhakti tradition. The most widely known amongst his first spiritual teachers was an ascetic woman, called Bhairavi Brahmani, who was skilled in Tantra and Vaishnava bhakti.Later an Advaita Vedantin ascetic taught him non-dual meditation, and according to Ramakrishna, he experienced nirvikalpa samadhi under his guidance. Ramakrishna also practised other religions, notably Islamand Christianity, and said that all religions lead to the same God.

Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836, in the village of Kamarpukur, in the Hooghly districtof West Bengal, into a very poor but pious, orthodox brahmin family. Kamarpukur was untouched by the glamour of the city and contained rice fields, tall palms, royal banyans, a few lakes, and two cremation grounds. His parents were Khudiram Chattopâdhyâya and Chandramani Devî. According to his followers, Ramakrishna's parents experienced supernatural incidents and visions before his birth. In Gaya his father Khudiram had a dream in which Lord Gadadhara (a form of Vishnu), said that he would be born as his son. Chandramani Devi is said to have had a vision of light entering her womb from Shiva's temple. 

Although Ramakrishna attended a village school with some regularity for 12 years, he later rejected the traditional schooling saying that he was not interested in a "bread-winning education” Kamarpukur, being a transit-point in well-established pilgrimage routes to Puri, brought him into contact with renunciates and holy men. He became well-versed in the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavata Purana, hearing them from wandering monks and theKathaks—a class of men in ancient India who preached and sang the Purāṇas. He could read and write in Bengali. While the official biographies write that the name Ramakrishna was given by Mathura Biswas—chief patron at Dakshineswar Kali Temple, it has also been suggested that this name was given by his own parents.

Ramakrishna describes his first spiritual ecstasy at the age of six: while walking along the paddy fields, a flock of white cranes flying against a backdrop of dark thunder clouds caught his vision. He reportedly became so absorbed by this scene that he lost outward consciousness and experienced indescribable joy in that state. Ramakrishna reportedly had experiences of similar nature a few other times in his childhood—while worshipping the goddess Vishalakshi, and portraying god Shiva in a drama during Shivaratri festival. From his 10th or 11th year on, the trances became common, and by the final years of his life, Ramakrishna's samādhi periods occurred almost daily. 

Ramakrishna's father died in 1843, after which time family responsibilities fell on his elder brother Ramkumar. This loss drew him closer to his mother, and he spent his time in household activities and daily worship of the household deities and became more involved in contemplative activities such as reading the sacred epics. When Ramakrishna was in his teens, the family's financial position worsened. Ramkumar started a Sanskrit school in Calcutta and also served as a priest. Ramakrishna moved to Calcutta in 1852 with Ramkumar to assist in the priestly work.

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