Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Sketches
1836-1886 AD = 50 yrs
He was not much educated and preached that the path to reach God was through faith, love, meditation, and surrender and not through intellectual pursuit. He was born as Braahman but he spoke against caste system. He respected other religions and said that all religions were different paths to reach the same God. He was a Vedaantist as well as a devotee of Kaalee, Raam and Krishn. His preaching have been collected by his disciple Vivekaanand. In fact he made Raamkrishn's name immortal by starting Raamkrishn Mission, a non-profit organization to spread Vedaant. He called his Guru as Raamkrishn Paramhans.
How Vivekaanand Became His Disciple?
One day, a leader of nearly seven hundred Naagaa Saadhu, a Sanyaasee named Totaapuree arrived at the temple premises of Dakhineshwar. His fame had spread far and wide. After completing his holy dip in the Gangasagar he came to stay at Dakshineshwar in lunar month of Paush. He looked at Shree Raamkrishn Paramhans and asked him - "Will you do some Saadhanaa?" Raamkrishn Jee said - "If mother says so." Raamkrishn asked mother Kaalee - "Who will teach me Saadhanaa?" Mother Kaalee replied him - "The person who has come to teach you Vedaant, the same person will teach you Saadhanaa also." Raamkrishn Paramhans Jee went to Totaapuree Jee and reported the Maa Kaalee's statement verbatim to Totaapuree. He smiled and said - "If you have to receive teaching from me, then you have to become a Sanyaasee."
Then he explained Raamkrishn the Sanyaas. He imparted spiritual instruction and tried to induce Raamkrishn in to the state of Samaadhi. He removed a bead from the rosary and asked Raamkrishn to sit in the lotus pose. Totaapuree touched the Raamkrishn’s forehead, in the middle of the eyebrows, with a crystal. He pressed the crystal a little harder and Raamkrishn entered into the state of Samadhi. He became unconscious. He remained unconscious for two days, but there was no decomposition of his body, though Totaapuree was astounded. He tried to do every thing a Guru could do to bring his disciple out of the Samaadhi, but in vain.
Now it was the dawn of the third day, that instantly Totaapuree knew what he had to do in this situation. He went close to Raamkrishn’s ear and said, "He for whom you have waited is here." Raamkrishn sat up instantly as if some one had pulled him up. He asked, "where is he? Where is he?" Totaapuree replied, "He will be reaching here soon." He said again, "Thaakur, you are far ahead of me. You are a great being. What I have not been able to attain after forty years of penance, you have attained that state within a day. You are great." At this Totaapuree bowed down his head before the idol of mother Kaalee in Dakshineshwar Temple.
The message through which Totaapuree got Raamkrishn out of Samaadhi was related to Narendranaath Duttaa who later on became famous as Sanyaasee Vivekaanand. The day Narendranath came in contact with Raamkrishn, he hugged him close to his chest and cried piteously like a parent who had found his long lost son. Narendra’s quest for God ended at the doorstep of Raamkrishn Paramhans. He said to Narendra, "Whatever you have to ask, go and ask the mother Kaalee. Don’t tell me any thing."
After five years, one day Ramkrishn Paramhans told a disciple that "I will not be able to talk to people anymore, so I have requested mother Kaalee to give power to Narendra, Raajaa, Taarak, Baaboo, Shashi and other disciples. From now onwards, these disciples will impart spiritual knowledge to devotees." This shows firm belief in Idol worship and the way of spiritual attainment.
Preach Only What You Practice
Raamkrishn’s words touched the boy’s heart. He looked at Raamkrishn and said, "Yes, Sir." and became silent again. "Then, will you stop asking for sweets from today?" asked Raamkrishn in an appealing tone. The boy smiled this time and said, "Yes, Sir, I will stop troubling my mother for sweets from today and stop eating them everyday." Raamkrishn, pleased with the boy’s reply, lovingly drew him close and said: "My son, you are a nice boy. You understand what is good and what is bad for you. You will surely grow up to be a happy man." As the boy bowed down in Namaskaar, Raamkrishn blessed him and turned to the other devotees.
After the boy went out into the garden, his grateful mother asked Raamkrishn, "Gurudev, why did you make us wait for two weeks to give these few words of advice?" Raamkrishn smiled and said, "You see, when you came two weeks ago, I, too, was in the habit of eating sweets brought by devotees. How could I ask your son not to do something which I myself was doing almost everyday? So, from that day I stopped eating sweets. That gave me enough strength and power to advise your son to do what I myself have done. Only when we preach what we practice, are our words full of sincerity and appeal to the listener."All the devotees in the room felt that they, too, had learnt a great lesson from Raamkrishn.
Repair the Idol, Do Not Change It
Some Events of His Life
When Kali fell apart he became non-dual, the wave dissolved in the ocean, the river fell into the ocean. It is said that he stayed immersed in this ultimate silence for six days. He was neither hungry nor thirsty – there was no consciousness of the outside, no awareness. All was forgotten. And when he opened his eyes six days later, the first thing he said was - "The last barrier has fallen."
There is another
report on this. When Totaapuree came, Raamkrishn told him that he (Raamkrishn)
would have to get mother's permission to do the same. Totaapuree told him to get
the permission. When Raamkrishn told Mother Kaalee about his talk to Totaapuree,
Mother told him that it was she who brought Totaapuree to initiate into A-Dwait.
Later on, of course, he was having difficulty in leaving Mother and Totaapuree
had to scratch / make a small incision on Raamkrishn's forehead to help him
overcome his last barrier.
(2) Once Raamkrishn
stretched out his hands and said to Kaalee - "O Mother, I offer my Kaam
(desires) and Krodh (anger or rage) to you." Suddenly he felt a hand taking
hold of his outstretched hand. He then heard a voice say - "Do not offer
these to Kaalee. Whatever you offer to Kaalee will return to you in multifold."
So "Our offerings to Saints (Saadhu) do not go a waste. When we offer
something to the Guru, to Saadhu, to Lord it comes back to us in multifold.
This is true, so give them carefully what do you want back from them."
(3) In 1866, Govinda Roy, a Hindu Guru who practiced Soofeesm, initiated Raamkrishn into Islam. Raamkrishn said that he "devoutly repeated the name of Allaah, wore a cloth like the Arab Muslim, said their prayer five times daily, and felt disinclined even to see images of the Hindu gods and goddesses, much less worship them - for the Hindu way of thinking had disappeared altogether from my mind." According to Raamkrishn, after three days of practice he had a vision of a "radiant personage with grave countenance and white beard resembling the Prophet and merging with his body".
At the end of 1873 he
started the practice of Christianity, when his devotee Shambhu Charan Mallik read
the Bible to him. Raamkrishn said that for several days he was filled with Christian
thoughts and no longer thought of going to the Kaalee temple. Raamkrishn describes
of a vision in which the picture of Madonna and Child Jesus became alive and had
a vision in which Jesus merged with his body. In his own room amongst other divine
pictures was one of Christ, and he burnt incense before it morning and evening.
There was also a picture showing Jesus Christ saving St Peter from drowning in
(4) Girish Chandra
Ghosh was a man full of vices. Name the vice and he had it. However, he had deep
affection for Shree Raamkrishn Paramhans.
Girish Chandra's joy knew no bounds. He thought, "What fortune. I can lead my life as I have been living. The Master will do Jap for me and take me to Moksh." At once he gave his power of attorney to Raamkrishn.
But, what happened after this? The moment Girish lifted the wine bottle he saw Raamkrishn's face on the bottle. He could not drink the wine. When he visited any woman for company he saw Raamkrishn in her and could not go near her. Girish was unable to carry on his life in his old style.
He thought, "I
thought that surrender was very easy. But, it is not so." Every moment,
in all actions, he saw only the Master. He just could not forget him. And that
is how Raamkrishn Paramhans brought change in Girish Chandra Ghosh.
(5) Raamkrishn had
predicted two things, (1) that he would not live up to 40 years of age; (2) that
the moment he discovered who he was, he would cast his mortal body. He had in
fact confided in one of his confidents about his real self and also fixed the
date for the departure after
(6) In later years, as Raamkrishn Paramhans was diagnosed with cancer, Vivekaanand Jee went to a doctor and asked him to come and examine his Guru. The doctor said he was willing to do so, but on one condition: neither Raamkrishn nor Vivekaanand Jee should try to make him believe in God, for he was an atheist. As Vivekaanand Jee agreed, the doctor visited Raamkrishn Paramhans and offered him what respite he could.
One day, Vivekaanand Jee put a coin beneath Raamkrishn's bed-sheet and asked the doctor to observe what was going to happen. Raamkrishn twisted and turned in discomfort, until the coin was removed. Vivekananda said the reason was that Ramakrishna never touched money, and any contact with it made him uncomfortable. But the doctor said that what Ramakrishna Paramhansa had experienced must have been physical discomfort. He could not see it as spiritual discomfort.
When Raamkrishn Paramhans
had died, Vivekaanand Jee asked the doctor if he had changed his mind, after his
acquaintance with Raamkrishn Paramhans for some time. “Do you believe now that God
exists?" asked Vivekaanand.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/27/13