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Sri ramakrishna, spirituality personified

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Sri Ramakrishna taught that religions may be different paths but faith and devotion with service leads to self realization.

Sri Ramakrishna taught that religions may be different paths but faith and devotion with service leads to self realization.

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  • 1. Sri Ramakrishna and VivekanandaSERVICE TO HUMANITY – SEE GOD IN ALL `
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Kāli Temple at Dakshineśwar 3
  • 4. LIVING IN KALIYUGAEven those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga 4
  • 5. Unless one always speaks the truth, onecannot find God Who is the soul of truth.One must be very particular about telling thetruth. Through truth one can realize God. 5
  • 6. WE ARE ONLY SERVANTS OF GODOne cannot completely get rid of the sixpassions: lust, anger, greed, and the like.Therefore one should direct them to God. If youmust have desire and greed, then you shoulddesire love of God and be greedy to attain Him.If you must be conceited and egotistic, thenfeel conceited and egotistic thinking that youare the servant of God, the child of God. 6
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  • 11. Different stages of spiritual progress• "The first stage is that of the beginner. He studies and hears.• Second is the stage of the struggling aspirant. He prays to God, meditates on Him, and sings His name and glories.• The third stage is that of the perfect soul. He has seen God, realized Him directly and immediately in his inner Consciousness. 11
  • 12. • Last is the stage of the supremely perfect, like Chaitanya. Such a devotee establishes a definite relationship with God, looking on Him as his Son or Beloved." 12
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  • 15. Sri Ramakrishna:To that end one must always sing forth the HolyName of God and talk How to fix mind on Him; without ceasing to sing of His glory and attributes.Then one must seek the company of holy men.One must from time to time visit the Lordsdevotees or those who have given up attachment tothe things of the world for the sake of the Lord. 15
  • 16. SEEK THE COMPANY OF HOLY MEN 16
  • 17. ATTITUDES TOWARD GOD "But a devotee must assume toward God, a particular attitude. God in His Incarnation as Rāma demonstrated Śānta, Dāsya, Vātsalya, and sakhya. But Krishna demonstrated Madhur, besides all these.” "Radha cherished the attitude of Madhur toward Krishna. Her love was romantic. But in the case of Sita it was the pure love of a chaste wife for her husband. There was no romance in her love.” "But all this is the lila of God. He demonstrates different ideals to suit different times."
  • 18. To develop the devotees love for God, God is to beregarded as the devotees Parent, Master, Friend,Child, Husband, or Sweetheart, each succeedingrelationship representing an intensification of love.These bhavas, or attitudes toward God, are known assanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. Therishis of the Vedas, Hanuman, the cow-herd boys ofVrindavan, Ramas mother Kausalya, and Radhika,Krishnas sweetheart, exhibited, respectively, themost perfect examples of these forms. 18
  • 19. In the ascending scale the-glories of God aregradually forgotten and the devotee realizes moreand more the intimacy of divine communion.Finally he regards himself as the mistress of hisBeloved, and no artificial barrier remains toseparate him from his Ideal.No social or moral obligation can bind to the earthhis soaring spirit. He experiences perfect union withthe Godhead. 19
  • 20. Different moods of aspirants Seeing the Lord through human relationships"But in order to realize God, one must assume one of theseattitudes: Śānta, Dāsya, Sakhya, Vātsalya, or Madhur."Śānta, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had thisattitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment.It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband.She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty andlove, a veritable Madan. 20
  • 21. "Dāsya, the attitude of a servant toward his master.Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. He feltthe strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. Awife feels this mood also. She serves her husbandwith all her heart and soul. A mother also has alittle of this attitude, as Yaśoda had toward Krishna. 21
  • 22. "Once Rama asked Hanuman, How do you look on Me?And Hanuman replied: O Rama, as long as I have thefeeling of "I", I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part;Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, ORama, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I realize thatThou art I and I am Thou."The relationship of master and servant is the proper one.Since this I must remain, let the rascal be Gods servant. 22
  • 23. "Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Sridāmā and otherfriends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of whichthey had already eaten. Sakhya bhava springs from therealization that God is one’s best and mostintimate friend. Arjuna’s relationship towardsKrishna is regarded as an excellent example forthis bhava. Arjuna used to sit, eat, walk, talk with andembrace Krishna as anintimate friend. 23
  • 24. "Vātsalya, the attitude of a mother toward herchild. This was Yaśodas attitude toward Krishna.The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds herhusband with her very life-blood, as it were. Themother feels happy only when the child has eatento his hearts content. Yaśoda would roam aboutwith butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna. 24
  • 25. "Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour.Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels itfor her husband. This attitude includes all the other four.“Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,In the Vrindāvan of my heart,And my devotion unto TheeWill be Thy Radha, dearly loved. . . . 25
  • 26. A beautiful expression of the Vaishnava worship of Godthrough love is to be found in the Vrindavan episode of theBhagavata. The gopis, or milk-maids, of Vrindavan regardedthe six-year-old Krishna as their Beloved. They sought nopersonal gain or happiness from this love. They surrenderedto Krishna their bodies, minds, and souls. Of all the gopis,Radhika, or Radha, because of her intense love for Him, wasthe closest to Krishna. She manifested mahabhava and wasunited with her Beloved. This union represents, throughsensuous language, a supersensuous experience. 26
  • 27. FETTERS OF THE SOULGod-consciousness does not come so long as thereare three things in the heart, _Shame, hatred and fear.These three and caste pride are the fetters of thesoul. When these are broken, freedom is attained.Bound by these fetters is Jiva (the ego), free fromfetters is Siva (God), 27
  • 28. One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, byfollowing the path of bhakti. God is all-powerful. Hemay give His devotee Brahmajnāna also, if He sowills.But the devotee generally doesnt seek theKnowledge of the Absolute.He would rather have the consciousness that Godis the Master and he the servant, or that God is theDivine Mother and he the child." Path of bhakti isbest for the people of the Kaliyuga. God is the Divine Mother 28
  • 29. Master on caste-systemSri Ramakrishna said: "The caste-system can be removed byone means only, and that is the love of God. Lovers of God donot belong to any caste. The mind, body, and soul of a manbecome purified through divine love. Chaitanya and Nityanandascattered the name of Hari to everyone, including the pariah, andembraced them all. A brahmin without this love is no longer abrahmin. And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah.Through bhakti an untouchable becomes pure and elevated." 29
  • 30. How to live in the world: be unattached!A DEVOTEE: "Sir, how should one live in the world?"MASTER: "Live in the world as the mud fish lives in the mud.One develops love of God by going away from the world intosolitude, now and then, and meditating on God. After that onecan live in the world unattached. The mud is there, and thefish has to live in it, but its body is not stained by the mud.Such a man can lead the life of a householder in a spirit ofdetachment" fish 30
  • 31. "Then should householders lead a worldly life?"MASTER: "Yes, they should try to perform their duties in adetached way. Before you break the jack-fruit open, rub yourhands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear them.The maidservant in a rich mans house performs all her duties,but her mind dwells on her home in the country. This is anexample of doing duty in a detached way. You shouldrenounce the world only in mind.But a sannyasi should renounce the worldboth inwardly and outwardly." 31
  • 32. Once a man realizes God through intense dispassion,he is no longer attached to woman. Even if he mustlead the life of a householder, he is free from fear ofand attachment to woman. "He who has realized Goddoes not look upon a woman with the eye of lust; sohe is not afraid of her. He perceives clearly thatwomen are but so many aspects of the Divine Mother.He worships them all as the Mother Herself”. 32
  • 33. The ideal of a spiritual family" A wife endowed with spiritual wisdom is a real partner in life.She greatly helps her husband to follow the religious path.After the birth of one or two children they live like brother andsister. Both of them are devotees of God-His servant and Hishandmaid. Their family is a spiritual family. They are alwayshappy with God and His devotees.They know that God alone is their own,from everlasting to everlasting. They arelike the Pandava brothers; they do notforget God in happiness or in sorrow. 33
  • 34. " Longing is the means of realizing Ātman. A man must strive toattain God with all his body, with all his mind, and with all hisspeech. Because of an excess of bile one gets jaundice. Thenone sees everything as yellow. Among actors, those who takeonly the roles of women acquire the nature of a woman; bythinking of woman your ways and thoughts become womanly.Just so, by thinking day and night of Godone acquires the nature of God." 34
  • 35. SENSE OF “I” The sense of “I” in us is the greatest obstacle in the path of God vision. It covers the truth. When “I” is dead, all troubles cease. If by the mercy of the lord one realizes “I am a non-doer,” instantly that man becomes emancipated in this life. This sense of “I” is like a thick cloud. As a small cloud can hide the glorious sun, so this cloud of “I” hides the glory of the Eternal Sun. 35
  • 36. SEVEN STAGES OF SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION This sense of “I” however vanishes at the approach of Divine wisdom, which leads to super-consciousness (Samadhi) and eventually to God-consciousness. But it is very difficult to acquire this wisdom. It is said in the Vedas that when the mind reaches the seventh stage of spiritual evolution, the soul enters into Samadhi and instantly its sense of “I” disappears. 36
  • 37. One cannot see God without purity of heart. Throughattachment to woman and gold the mind hasbecome stained-covered with dirt. A magnet cannotattract a needle covered with mud. Wash away themud and the magnet will draw it. Likewise, the dirt ofthe mind can be washed away with the tears of oureyes.. Then the devotee obtains the vision of God. 37
  • 38. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed awaywith the tears of our eyes.. Then the devoteeobtains the vision of God. This stain is removed ifone sheds tears of repentance and says, O God, Ishall never again do such a thing. Thereupon God,the magnet, draws to Himself the mind, the needle 38
  • 39. By the mind one is bound; by the mind one isfreed. If am absolutely free, whether I live in theworld or in the forest, where is my bondage? I amthe child of God, the son of the King of Kings; whocan bind me? When bitten by a snake, if youassert with firmness “There is no venom in me,”you will be cured. In the same way he who assertswith strong conviction “I am not bound, I am free,”becomes free. 39
  • 40. MESSAGE TO YOUTHSocieties should bemolded upon truth andtruth has not to adjustitself to societyWhatever you think, youwill be, you think yourselfweak, weak you will be.You think yourself strong,strong you will beDo you love yourcountry? Then come andstruggle for higher andbetter things 40
  • 41. How to attain pure love of God"How can a devotee attain such love? First, thecompany of holy men. That awakens śraddhā, faith inGod. Then comes nishtha, single-minded devotion tothe Ideal. In that stage the devotee does not like tohear anything but talk about God. He performs onlythose acts that please God. After nishtha comesbhakti, devotion to God; then comes bhava. Nextmahabhava, then prema, and last of all the attainmentof God Himself. Only for Isvarakotis, such as theIncarnations, is it possible to have mahabhava orprema. 41
  • 42. After the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna it was SwamiVivekananda who organized his brother disciples into aspiritual fraternity and laid the foundation of the institutionswhich have developed into the present Ramakrishna Mathand Ramakrishna Mission.Swami Vivekanandas noble vindication of Hinduism in theWest as well as in India, his great spiritual attainments, …continued 42
  • 43. his burning patriotism, his lifelong service for the uplift of thedowntrodden masses of India, and his high souled efforts tobring about a cultural and spiritual union between the East andthe West _ all these have combined to secure forVivekananda a pre-eminent position amongst the worldsnoblest men. Having thus gathered together his chosen few,Sri Ramakrishna made them his closest companions and, withthe tender affection of a mother, guided them step by step tothe supreme realization of God. 43
  • 44. Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math for thepropagation of religion and Ramakrishna Mission for socialservice. He founded the Belur Math, Advaita Ashrama at Mayavation the Himalayas and another in ChennaiSwami Vivekanandas hectic schedule played havoc on His health.He suffered from asthma and diabetes and other ailments. Hespent His last days in the Belur Math.He shed His body while meditating on July 4th 1902.A temple was later erected on the spot chosen by Him in the BelurMath where He was cremated. 44
  • 45. "This universe is created by the Mahamaya of God.Mahamaya contains both Vidyā-māyā, the illusion ofknowledge, and Avidyā-māyā, the illusion of ignorance.Through the help of Vidyā-māyā one cultivates such virtuesas the taste for holy company, knowledge, devotion, love,and renunciation. Avidyā-māyā consists of the fiveelements and the objects of the five senses- form, flavour,smell, touch, and sound. These make one forget God." 45
  • 46. SEE GOD IN ALL This is the gist of all worship - to be pure and todo good to others. He who sees Siva in the poor,in the weak, and in the diseased, worships Siva. He who has served and helped one poor manseeing Siva in him, without thinking of his caste,creed, or race, or anything, with him Siva is morepleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples. Vivekananda Temple at Belur Math 46
  • 47. Three things are necessary for a bird to fly—the twowings and the tail as a rudder for steering. Jnâna(knowledge) is the one wing, Bhakti (love) is theother, and Yoga is the tail that keeps up the balance.For those who cannot pursue all these three forms ofworship together in harmony, and take up, therefore,Bhakti alone as their way, it is necessary always toremember that forms and ceremonials, thoughabsolutely necessary for the progressive soul, haveno other value than taking us on to that state in whichwe feel the most intense love to God. 47
  • 48. Three things are necessary for a bird to fly—the two wings and the tail as a rudder for steering.• Jnâna (knowledge) is the one wing,• Bhakti (love) is the other, and• Yoga is the tail that keeps up the balance.If bhakti alone is your way, it is necessary always toremember that forms and ceremonials, thoughabsolutely necessary for the progressive soul, haveno other value than taking you on to that state inwhich you feel the most intense love to God. 48 48
  • 49. SERVICE TO HUMANITY – SEE GOD IN ALL Today, man has acquired a tremendous materialistic power. If he cannot rightly utilize it, a total destruction of the world is inevitable. It is necessary for him to practise mental control and develop an attitude of love, friendship, fraternity , nurture and renunciation. 49
  • 50. Kids for Family and Life COMMUNITY Our goal is to nurture and bring all closer to a Jesus like humanity, through our different activities.Kids for Family and Life 50