International Forum for NeoVedantins

The Story of Sri Ramakrishna:  Part 1
A Long Series

Sri Ramakrishna

The Story of Sri Ramakrishna

This story is a true story of a man of god of recent years; it is a story of simple man, a simple son of Mother, a simple teacher of Narendranath, a simple story-teller of Dakshineswar, a man of god who without pride or prejudice proved science to be inadequate as the means and methods to seek the highest knowledge, and in its place gave the methods of inquiry to know that 'after knowing which nothing else remains to be known'.

He was the living embodiment of the Upanishads; personifed every verse of the Gita; and proved every scripture, including the tantras and the Bhagavatam, to be true in his life. What a wonder! He proved the truthfulness of Sita and Rama, Krishna and Radha, Hanuman and Yashoda, Ma Kali and Shiva, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed. He experienced their living presence in his life under the full blaze of scientific inquiry, reason, and rationality. British were no fools to accept superstitions as logical facts. And equally 'rational and British' were Indian heroes, educated in British college and environment created by McCauley! They tested 'the old mad man of Dakshineswar, on the basis of science! Still, the man won the show: Sri Ramakrishna was his name.

His disciples and visitors had to accept the genuine love of this 'child of Mother', for they saw and experienced the truth thereof. How could one deny that which they had personally experienced by way of sight, sound, and direct perception? Narendra, Rakhal, Sarada, and Sarat all these 'young boys', young college students, introduced a new wave monasticism at the behest of this simple man of Kali Temple.

Purpose and Necessity of Advent of a God Man

From time immemorial, many great spiritual men of immense diversity and caliber are born in India. In fact, the main, and probably the only, contribution of India is in the field of spirituality. India has seen great seers recounting their direct experiences of superconscious reality as the Vedas and the Upanishads. Moreover, the great Yogi and Avatar Purusha Sri Krishna assures in the Bhagavad Gita about the advent of great spiritual giants whenever the Dharma (righteousness or religion) is in crisis on is on the decline.

This concept of decline in Dharma must be properly understood if one wants to clearly decipher the meaning of life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. The decline in Dharma means: in a given culture and social perception the aim of human life has shifted its focus from realization of our true nature i. e. divinity within, and instead the majority of people have taken to the life of satisfying worldly and bodily needs such as eating, drinking, and making merry. The superconscious dimension to our personality is forgotten in the din and bustle of materialistic cravings and sense enjoyment. With such a culture come selfishness, hate, jealousy, and passionate swings in the mood of the masses. The wars and exploitation, want and hunger, disease and epidemics are the natural side effects of gross materialism. This is known as decline in Dharma.

The purpose of the Avatar Purusha is to guide the devotees and seekers after the Truth to the path that would lead them to the royal goal of transcendental realization. The confusion created by the insistence on the glorification and importance of materialistic achievements puts doubts in the minds of the aspirants after the Truth. Who is right? -- The one who takes to the path of renunciation, selfless service, meditation, and worship, or the one who strives and achieves comforts, name, fame, and luxuries and success in the external world? This dilemma in the society, and consequently its expression at national and international level, must be resolved, or else the pain and suffering of the humanity puts doubts about the purpose and aim of the human birth itself. Depression, despondency, nervous breakdown, and similar psychiatry illnesses are added to the life of mere sensual engagements; they become the order of the day. Reason and rationality give way to chaos and mediocrity; human life, which is divine and blissful, becomes drudgery.

Moreover, the British ways of Macaulay to introduce new education system that was to prove harmful for Indian spiritual ethos, and social reform movements of liberal educated Indian intelligentsia, created the need for incarnation or saviour of Dharma. In such a situation of purposelessness all around, the gracious and compassionate Reality incarnated as Avatar Purusha to lead, teach, and guide the humankind to the goal of Self-realization as the sole aim in life.

Continued part 2...
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