|यथो मत तथो पथ|
|ಯಥೊ ಮತ್ ತಥೊ ಪಥ್|
|Yatho Mat Tatho path|
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahams was the famous ascetic of Dakshineshwar in the undivided Bengal of the yesteryears. He was born on 25th of February in 1836. Pureprayer offers tributes to the great philosopher of the 19th Century.
Ramakrishna was born as Gadadhar Chattopadhyay on February 18, 1836 to Khudiram Chattopadhyay and Chandramani Devi. The family was devoted to Lord Rama. Khudiram and Chandramani named their boys after Lord Ram as: Ramkumar, Rameswar, and Ramakrishna (Gadadhar). Katyayini and Sarvamangala were the names given to the girls born to the Khudiram couple.
“I was a pet child of my father. He used to call me Ramakrishnababu.”
This was stated by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahams himself, which finds a mention in the book of Sri Mahendranath Gupta.
Gadadhar’s whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. He reached a depth of Consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Ramakrishna Paramahams lived as a very intense devotee of Goddess Kalikadevi for most of his life.
Sri Ramakrishna proved that God reveals himself all times and that such trancscendence is not limited to any particular age, country, or people. He did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation. Sri Ramakrishna did not write any book or deliver public lectures. He chose to speak in a simple language using parables and metaphors drawn from the observation of nature and everyday things. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was a mystic and a yogi who explained complex spiritual concepts lucidly. Ramakrishna was the embodiment of spiritual salvation to troubled souls from all walks of life. As bees would swarm around a blossom, devotees came to Sri Ramakrishna.
He was a key figure in revival of Sanatana Dharma in Bengal at a time when intense spiritual crisis was gripping the province. His most prominent disciple Swami Vivekananda carried on his teachings and philosophy to the world.
His famous maxim, Yato mat, tato path can be stated as: “As many faiths, so many paths”.
Early Life Of Gadadhar
Young Gadadhar was sent to the village school to learn, but he was a reluctant student. He loved to paint and create images of Gods and Goddesses. He was attracted to folk and mythological stories which he had heard from his mother. He learnt Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and other sacred literature just by hearing it from priests and sages.
Young Gadadhar loved the nature. From a very young age, Gadadhar was religiously inclined and he would experience episodes of spiritual ecstasy from everyday incidents. Ramakrishna was married to five-year old Sarada from a neighbouring village when he was twenty three years old.
Gadadhar becomes Kali’s Archak
Kali temple at Dakshineshwar was established by philanthropist Queen of Janbazar, Calcutta, Rani Rasamani. Rasamani’s son-in-law, Mathurbabu came across Ramkumar, the elder brother of Gadadhar, in Calcutta and invited him to take up the position of the head priest at the temple. Ramkumar obliged and sent for Gadadhar to join him at Dakshineshwar to assist him in the daily rituals. Gadadhar arrived at Dakshineshwar and was entrusted with the duty of decorating the deity.
Philosophical Journey of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhams
- 1861, Bhairavi Brahmani initiated Ramakrishna into Tantra. He completed all 64 sadhanas and mastered Kundalini Yoga from Bhairavi
- 1864, Ramakrishna took up the practice of Vātsalya bhāva under a Vaishnava guru Jatadhari
- 1865, Naga Sadhu (monk) Tota Puri initiated Ramakrishna into sannyasa and non-dual (Advaita Vedanta) meditation
- 1866, Govinda Roy, a Hindu guru who practised Sufism introduced Islam to Ramakrishna
- 1873, Ramakrishna had the bible read to him
Two famous personalities who have experienced Sri Ramakrishna Paramhams have said this about him:
“Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the epitome of the whole.”
“His sayings are not those of a mere learned man but they are pages from the Book of Life.”
Messages from Sri Ramakrishna Parama Hamsa:
- You should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode of God
- Pure knowledge and pure love are one and the same
- Be sincere; act according to your thoughts; and you shall surely succeed
- Clap your hands while repeating God’s name, and the birds of your sins will fly away.
- Pray with a sincere and simple heart, and your prayers will be heard
- Live in the world like a waterfowl. The water clings to the bird, but the bird shakes it off
- Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud, but its skin is always bright and shiny
- You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day?
- Purity of mind is an essential condition for the attainment of the Ultimate Reality; real purity is freedom from lust and greed
- I tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind toward God; otherwise you will not succeed
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