Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 in a poor and pious Brahmin family in Kamarpukur, a village sixty miles to the north-west of Kolkata. His parents were Kshudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandramani Devi. From His early boyhood Sri Ramakrishna was devoted to God and spiritual matters and showed lack of interest in worldly affairs. Hence he had only the rudiments of formal education. At the age of nineteen he was appointed a priest at the newly built Kali temple at Dakshineshwar in Kolkata. From then on for another eleven years he remained absorbed in the practice of various spiritual disciplines of Hinduism.
After attaining the highest goals of these disciplines, which included the experience of Advaita or non-dual state of consciousness, he turned to the spiritual paths of Islam and Christianity. These paths led him finally to the same ultimate Reality which he had earlier attained through the spiritual paths of Hinduism.Although Sri Ramakrishna had been ordained a monk, he lived like an ordinary person, and hardly left the precincts of the Kali temple.
The fame of his holiness began to spread, and disciples, mostly belonging to the educated middle class in Kolkata, began to gather around him. He trained some of his young disciples to become monks. The foremost among them was Swami Vivekananda. Sri Ramakrishna passed away on 16 August 1886 at the age of fifty years.
Sri Ramakrishna Sayings
The washer man keeps a large store of unwashed clothes in his house, but these are not his. As soon as the clothes are washed, his room becomes empty. Men having no original thoughts of their own are like the washer man. Be not a washer man in your thoughts.
- Do yourself what you wish others to do.
- In living your life of peace and virtue, be indifferent alike to the praise and censure of mankind.
- God realization is the ultimate goal of human life because that alone can bring man supreme happiness and peace.
- God is one, Personal as well as Impersonal, and is known by different names in different religions.
- God can be realized through various paths taught in world religions.
- Purity of mind is a basic condition for the realization of God, but divine grace can redeem even the worst sinner.
- With this faith in God one should cultivate a positive outlook on life instead of yielding to self-condemnation or depression.
- God dwells in all people as the Supreme Self; hence all people are to be treated with respect.
- The devil never enters the house wherein songs in praise of Hari are always sung.
- It is absurd to speak of harm resulting from excessive absorption in God. The rays of a diamond illumine and soothe but never burn.
- His steps falter not, who has taken refuge in Him.
- So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. But when God is realized within, there is true Knowledge.
- Knowledge leads to unity; ignorance to diversity.
- Dose the Lord care for all the wealth that one may offer Him? Oh, no! His grace lights on him alone who offers Him love and devotion. What He values are only love and devotion, discrimination and renunciation for His sake.
- We cannot say that God is gracious because He feeds us, for every father is bound to provide his children with food; but when He keeps us from going astray and holds us back from temptations, He is truly gracious.
(For Further reading Please refer – Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna)