Ramakrishna Paramahamsa History.ppt

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Ramakrishna Paramahamsa History.ppt

  1. 2. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Born February 18, 1836 Kamarpukur, West Bengal, India Died 16 August 1886
  2. 3. CHILDHOOD OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA <ul><li>Gadadhar’s parents, Khudiram and Chandramani, were poor and made ends meet with great difficulty. </li></ul><ul><li>Gadadhar was the pet of the whole village. </li></ul><ul><li>He was handsome and had a natural gift for the fine arts. </li></ul><ul><li>He disliked going to school, not interested in earning money only. </li></ul><ul><li>He loved Nature and spent his time in fields and fruit gardens outside the village with his friends. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>He was seen visiting monks who stopped at his village on their way to Puri. </li></ul><ul><li>He would serve them and listen with rapt attention to the arguments they often had among themselves over religious issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Gadadhar attained the age when he should be invested with the sacred thread (Upanayana). </li></ul><ul><li>When arrangements were nearly complete for this, Gadadhar declared that he would have his first alms as a Brahmin from a certain Sudra woman of the village. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>This was something unheard of! </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition required that it should be a brahmin and not a sudra who would give him the first alms. </li></ul><ul><li>This was pointed out to him but he was adamant. </li></ul><ul><li>He said he had given his word to the lady and if he did not keep his word, what sort of brahmin would he be? No argument, no appeal, no amount of tears could budge him from his position. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, Ramkumar, his eldest brother and now the head of the family after the passing away of their father, had to give in. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Meanwhile, the family's financial position worsened every day. Ramkumar ran a Sanskrit school in Calcutta and also served as purohit priest in some families. </li></ul><ul><li>About this time, a rich woman of Calcutta, Rani Rashmoni, founded a temple at Dakshineswar. </li></ul><ul><li>She approached Ramkumar to serve as priest at the temple of Kali and Ramkumar agreed. </li></ul><ul><li>After some persuasion, Gadadhar agreed to decorate the deity. </li></ul><ul><li>When Ramkumar retired, Gadadhar took his place as priest. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Sri Ramakrishna's Career as a Priest <ul><li>When Gadadhar started worshipping the deity Bhavatarini, he began to ask himself if he was worshipping a piece of stone or a living Goddess. </li></ul><ul><li>If he was worshipping a living Goddess, why should she not respond to his worship? This question nagged him day and night. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, he began to pray to Kali: &quot;Mother, you've been gracious to many devotees in the past and have revealed yourself to them. Why would you not reveal yourself to me, also? Am I not also your son?&quot; </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>He would weep bitterly and sometimes even cry out loudly while worshipping . </li></ul><ul><li>At night, he would go into a nearby jungle and spend the whole night praying . </li></ul><ul><li>One day, he was so impatient to see Mother Kali that he decided to end his life. </li></ul><ul><li>He seized a sword hanging on the wall and was about to strike himself with it when he saw light issuing from the deity in waves and he was soon overwhelmed by those waves. </li></ul><ul><li>He then fell down unconscious on the floor. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Gadadhar was not, however, content with this. He prayed to Mother Kali for more religious experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>He specially wanted to know what truths other religious systems taught. </li></ul><ul><li>Strangely enough, teachers of those systems came to him when necessary as if directed by some invisible power, and what is more surprising, he reached the goals of those experiments in no time. </li></ul><ul><li>Soon word spread about this remarkable man and people of all denominations and all stations of life began to come to him. </li></ul>
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  10. 11. Married Life of Sri Ramakrishna <ul><li>When rumors spread to Kamarpukur that Ramakrishna had turned mad as a result of over-taxing spiritual exercises at Dakshineswar, alarmed, neighbors advised Ramakrishna’s mother that he could be persuaded to marry, so that he might be more conscious of his responsibilities to the family. </li></ul><ul><li>Far from objecting to the marriage, he, in fact, mentioned Jayrambati, three miles to the north-west of Kamarpukur, as being the village where the bride could be found at the house of one Ramchandra Mukherjee. </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>The bride, six-year old and bearing the name, Sarada, was found. </li></ul><ul><li>The marriage was duly solemnised. </li></ul><ul><li>Sarada Devi was Ramakrishna's first disciple. </li></ul><ul><li>He taught her everything he learnt from his various Gurus. </li></ul><ul><li>She mastered every religious secret as quickly as Ramakrishna has done. </li></ul><ul><li>Impressed by her great religious potential, he began to treat her as the Universal Mother Herself and performed a Puja considering Sarada as veritable Tripura Sundari Devi. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>He said, 'I look upon you as my own mother and the Mother who is in the temple'. </li></ul><ul><li>Ramakrishna made Sarada Devi feel as if she was not only the mother of his young disciples, but also of the entire humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>At first, Sarada Devi was shy about playing this role, but slowly, she filled that role with courage. </li></ul><ul><li>But the most amazing thing about her was her renunciation, a quality she shared with her husband in a measure equal to, if not more than, his. </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>The true nature of their relationship and kinship was beyond the grasp of ordinary minds. </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Ramakrishna was convinced that her relationship and attitude toward him were firmly based on a divine spiritual plane. </li></ul><ul><li>He came to this conclusion after having constant and close association with her. </li></ul><ul><li>As they shared their lives, day and night, no other thought, other than that of the divine presence arose in their minds. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Even after marriage, Ramakrishna forgot this world and continued his spiritual practices. <ul><li>Such a continued divine relationship between two souls of opposite gender is unique in religious records, never known in any of the past hagiographies and a source of inspiration for generations to come. </li></ul><ul><li>After the passing away of Ramakrishna she even became a religious teacher in her own rights. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Relationship between Ramakrishna and Sarada <ul><li>Ramakrishna worshipped his own wife as the Divine Mother. </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between Ramakrishna and Sri Sarada Devi was never for a moment like the ordinary. </li></ul><ul><li>They were divine beings, immersed in God. </li></ul><ul><li>They never cared for the world or its paltry happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>When Ramakrishna worshipped his own wife as the Divine Mother, the world got a Divine Mother in new form. </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>With this worship, his aspirant attitude had ended and the world-teacher attitude began to manifest itself. </li></ul><ul><li>He had realized several truths at the end of his sadhanas, among which were that he was an incarnation of God, that he had come to re-establish eternal religion on earth, that he would not have liberation, and so on. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Later Life of Sri Ramakrishna <ul><li>From now on he came to be known as Ramakrishna Paramahansa, and like a magnet he began to attract real seekers of God . </li></ul><ul><li>He taught ceaselessly for fifteen years or so through parables, metaphors, songs and above all by his own life the basic truths of religion. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>He had developed throat cancer and attained Mahasamadhi at a Garden House in Cossipore on 18 August, 1886, leaving behind a devoted band of 16 young disciples headed by the well-known saint-philosopher and orator, Swami Vivekananda and host of householder disciples. </li></ul><ul><li>Among his contemporaries, Keshab Chandra Sen and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who were known to be against Hindu iconolatry, were his admirers. </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>I was then suffering from excruciating pain because I had not been blessed with a vision of the mother. </li></ul><ul><li>I felt as if my heart were being squeezed like a wet towel. </li></ul><ul><li>I was overpowered by a fear that it might not be my lot to realize Her in this life. </li></ul><ul><li>I could not bear the separation any longer: life did not seem worth living. </li></ul><ul><li>Suddenly my eyes fell on the sword that was kept in the Mother's temple. </li></ul>SIGNIFICANCE OF RAMAKRISHNA
  20. 21. <ul><li>Determined to put an end to my life, I jumped up like a madman and seized it, when suddenly the Mother revealed herself to me, and I fell unconscious on the floor. </li></ul><ul><li>What happened after that externally or how that day or the next passed , I do not know, but within me there was a steady flow of undiluted bliss altogether new, and I felt the presence of the Divine Mother. </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Later he said about this experience : The buildings with their different parts, the temple, and all vanished from my sight, leaving no trace whatsoever, and in their stead was a limitless, infinite, effulgent ocean of Consciousness or Spirit. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna <ul><li>Ramakrishna's mystical realization, classified by Hindu tradition as nirvikalpa samadhi (literally, &quot;constant meditation&quot;, thought to be absorption in the all-encompassing Consciousness), led him to believe that the gods of the various religions are merely so many interpretations of the Absolute, and that the Ultimate Reality could never be expressed in human terms. </li></ul><ul><li>This is in agreement with the Rigvedic proclamation that &quot;Truth is one but sages call it by many a name.&quot; </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>As a result of this opinion, Ramakrishna actually spent periods of his life practicing his own understandings of Islam, Christianity and various other Yogic and Tantric sects within Hinduism. </li></ul><ul><li>Ramakrishna's realization of nirvikalpa samadhi also led him to an understanding of the two sides of maya (illusion), to which he referred as avidyamaya and vidyamaya: He explained that avidyamaya represents the dark forces of creation (eg sensual desire, evil passions, greed, lust and cruelty), which keep the world system on lower planes of consciousness. </li></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>These forces are responsible for human entrapment in the round of birth and death, and they must be fought and vanquished. </li></ul><ul><li>Vidyamaya, on the other hand, represents the higher forces of creation (e.g. spiritual virtues, enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, and devotion), which elevate human beings to the higher planes of consciousness. </li></ul><ul><li>With the help of vidyamaya, devotees can rid themselves of avidyamaya and achieve the ultimate goal of becoming mayatita - that is, free from maya. </li></ul>
  25. 26. The four key concepts in Ramakrishna's teachings were the following: <ul><ul><li>the oneness of existence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the divinity of human beings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the unity of God </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the harmony of religions </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>A personal account of his life and teachings, is recorded by his disciple, Mahendranath Gupta , simply known as &quot;M&quot;, in the Gospel of Ramakrishna. </li></ul><ul><li>Like Adi Sankara had done more than a thousand years earlier, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa revitalized Hinduism which had been fraught with excessive ritualism and superstition in the nineteenth century and helped it better respond to challenges from Islam, Christianity and the dawn of the modern era. </li></ul>
  27. 28. What was Sri Ramakrishna’s chief teaching? <ul><li>Swami Vivekananda is best quoted about this. </li></ul><ul><li>Swami Vivekananda says that his Master’s message was this: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Be spiritual and realize the Truth for yourself.’ (4.187). </li></ul>
  28. 29. UNIVERSAL TEACHINGS SEE GOD IN ALL I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, &quot;God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous.&quot;
  29. 30. GOD IS WITHIN YOU Do you know what I see? I see Him as all. Men and other creatures appear to me only as hollow forms, moving their heads and hands and feet, but within is the Lord Himself. LOVE OF GOD IS ESSENTIAL Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal.
  30. 31. PERSEVERE IN YOUR SEARCH FOR GOD There are pearls in the deep sea, but one must hazard all to find them. If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to be rewarded in the end. So is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first attempt proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to realize Him at last.
  31. 32. TRUST COMPLETELY IN GOD What are you to do when you are placed in the world? Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will.
  32. 33. Reception of Sri Ramakrishna <ul><li>The Hindu Renaissance that India experienced in the 19th century may be said to have been spurred by his life and work. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the Brahmo Samaj and the Arya Samaj preceded the Ramakrishna Mission , their influence on a larger level was limited. </li></ul><ul><li>With the emergence of the Mission, however, the situation changed dramatically. </li></ul><ul><li>The Ramakrishna Mission was founded by Ramakrishna himself when he distributed the gerua cloth of renunciation to his direct disciples. </li></ul>
  33. 34. <ul><li>This is corroborated by Swami Vivekananda himself when he says that without Thakur's grace all this would not have been possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Ramakrisha was believed to be working through Swami Vivekananda to spread his message for the good of humanity. </li></ul><ul><li>It could be argued that Ramakrishna's vision of Hinduism, and its popularization by western converts like Christopher Isherwood, have largely colored western notions of what Hinduism is. </li></ul>
  34. 35. Quotations of Sri Ramakrishna <ul><li>Ramakrishna's beliefs, along with his followers, were all Smarta in belief. </li></ul><ul><li>Others, like Andrew Harvey and Ken Wilber, see the beginning of a new universal consciousness with Ramakrishna's life. </li></ul>&quot;Knowledge leads to unity. Ignorance, to disunity.“ &quot;As a man thinks, so he becomes.&quot;
  35. 36. On two occasions the Lord smiles. First when the doctor comes to the bedside of a patient who is seriously taken ill and is about to die, and says to his mother, “why madam, there is no cause for anxiety at all. I take upon myself the responsibility of saving your son’s life.” Next He smiles when two brothers, who are busy partitioning their land, take a measuring tape, put it across the land and say, “This is mine, that side is yours.”
  36. 37. The ‘I’ which makes a man worldly and attached to lust and wealth is mischievous. The individual soul and the Universal Being are separated because this ‘I’ comes in between them. If a stick is placed on the surface of water, the water will appear to be divided into two sections. The stick is the Aham, the ‘I’. Take that away, and the water becomes again undivided.
  37. 38. The mind is everything. If the mind loses its liberty, you lose yours. If the mind is free, you too are free. The mind may get dyed in any color like a white cloth fresh from the laundry. Study English words in your talk in spite of yourself. The Pandit who studies Sanskrit must quote verses. If the mind is kept in bad company, the evil influence of it will color one’s thought and conversation. Placed in the midst of devotees, the mind is sure to meditate on God and God alone. It changes its nature according to the things amongst which it lives and acts.
  38. 39. Why do religions degenerate? Rain water is pure, but by the time it reaches the earth, it gets dirty owing to the medium it passes through. If the roofs and the pipes and the channels are all dirty the water discharged through them also be dirty. (so religion gets defiled by the medium through which it manifests.)
  39. 40. One becomes a real Jnani, a true Paramahamsa, only when one has tested all possible conditions of life from the humblest position of a scavenger to the highest role of a king, through observation, report of others and actual experience, and has become convinced thereby of the trivial nature of all worldly enjoyments.
  40. 41. <ul><li>If a stick is placed on the surface of water, the water will appear to be divided into two sections. The stick is the Aham, the ‘I’. Take that away, and the water becomes again undivided. </li></ul><ul><li>One becomes a real Jnani, a true Paramahamsa, only when one has tested all possible conditions of life from the humblest position of a scavenger to the highest role of a king, through observation, report of others and actual experience, and has become convinced thereby of the trivial nature of all worldly enjoyments. </li></ul>
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