Biography of “Ramakrishna Paramhans”
Ramakrishna Paramhans was India’s great spiritual leader who is remembered for his valuable teachings based on humanity. He was primarily a religious reformer. He was a deeply spiritual man who believed that the basic meaning of all religions was the same.
Ramakrishna Paramhans was born on February 18, 1836 in a poor orthodox Brahmin family in a remote village of Bengal. His original name was Gadadhar. He had immense spiritual potential from his very childhood. Even at the age of five, he had a burning desire to study the lives of saints.
As he grew up he wished to have a vision of goddess Kali, whom he considered as the Divine Mother. As his realization deepened the vision of the Divine Mother became luminous while he was the priest of Dakshineshwar Temple in Kolkata. He would enter into deep trances and lose consciousness just to seek the truth.
Ramakrishna said that meditation and devotion were paths to religious salvation. He emphasized the concept of service to man because for him, man was the symbol of God. According to him character formation was essential to earn true spirituality. He felt that overcoming vices like greed, lust and anger and renunciation of materialistic pleasures were the steps towards character building. He was a great saint who taught the concept of equality among men. He practiced what he preached.
His life was full of episodes that were against untouchability, sex discrimination and castes. All religions were the same in his eyes. He believed that all religions led to one and finally one path through different tracks.
Ramakrishna had great respect for the women. He treated every woman as his mother and therefore he would not lead a married life when his mother tried to ward off his madness by getting him married to Shardha. He said that the mother (Kali) enlightened him that she resides in every woman.
Thus he was a man of noble soul who had intense love for others. We can’t all be Ramakrishna Paramhans but we could in a lesser or greater degree imbibe the essence of his preaching’s- the deeper truths for which he lived and died. It would our best homage to that great soul whose need becomes more relevant today when the whole world is crying for peace and disarmament. Ramakrishna’s greatest disciple was Swami Vivekanand who founded the Ramakrishna Mission to propagate the teachings of his guru and to carry on social work. Ramakrishna left for his heavenly abode on 16th August 1886.