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Ramakrishna

Birthdate: 18. February 1836
Date of death: 16. August 1886
Other names: Šrí Rámakršna

Ramakrishna Paramahansa Ramkṛiṣṇa Pôromôhongśa ; 18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886, born Gadadhar Chatterjee or Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, was an Indian Hindu mystic and saint during the 19th century Bengal. Ramakrishna experienced spiritual ecstasies from a young age, and was influenced by several religious traditions, including devotion toward the goddess Kali, Tantra , Vaishnava , and Advaita Vedanta. Reverence and admiration for him among Bengali elites led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda.

„After realizing God, one does not identify oneself any more with the body. Then one knows that body and soul are two different things.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 319
Context: The body was born and it will die. But for the soul there is no death. It is like the betel-nut. When the nut is ripe it does not stick to the shell. But when it is green it is difficult to separate it from the shell. After realizing God, one does not identify oneself any more with the body. Then one knows that body and soul are two different things.

„Here is Thy righteousness and here is Thy unrighteousness. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 312
Context: It is said that truthfulness alone constitutes the spiritual discipline of the Kaliyuga. If a man clings tenaciously to truth he ultimately realizes God. Without this regard for truth, one gradually loses everything. If by chance I say that I will go to the pine-grove, I must go there even if there is no further need of it, lest I lose my attachment to truth. After my vision of the Divine Mother, I prayed to Her, taking a flower in my hands: "Mother, here is Thy knowledge and here is Thy ignorance. Take them both, and give me only pure love. Here is Thy holiness and here is Thy unholiness. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love. Here is Thy good and here is Thy evil. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love. Here is Thy righteousness and here is Thy unrighteousness. Take them both, Mother, and give me pure love." I mentioned all these, but I could not say: "Mother, here is Thy truth and here is Thy falsehood. Take them both." I gave up everything at Her feet but could not bring myself to give up truth.

„Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 423
Context: Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A lake has many ghats. From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it "jal". From another ghat the Mussalmāns take water in leather bags and call it "pāni". From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it "water". Suppose someone says that the thing is not "jal" but "pāni", or that it is not "pāni" but "water", or that it is not "water" but "jal", It would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels. This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart.

„Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal, and you will also have bliss.“

—  Ramakrishna

As quoted in Hindu Psychology : Its Meaning for the West (1946) by Swami Akhilananda, p. 204
Variant translation: Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal, and you also will have bliss. Bliss indeed is eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment is to the senses, the more will be your love to God.
Saying 806, in Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna (1948) edited by Swami Vireswarananda
Context: Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal, and you will also have bliss. The Bliss indeed is eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment is towards the senses, the more will be your love towards God.

„The mind of a yogi is under his control; he is not under the control of his mind.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 248
Context: It is not good for ordinary people to say, "I am He." The waves belong to the water. Does the water belong to the waves?
The upshot of the whole thing is that, no matter what path you follow, yoga is impossible unless the mind becomes quiet. The mind of a yogi is under his control; he is not under the control of his mind.

„Water and a bubble on it are one and the same. The bubble has its birth in the water, floats on it, and is ultimately resolved into it.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 22
Context: Water and a bubble on it are one and the same. The bubble has its birth in the water, floats on it, and is ultimately resolved into it. So also the Jivatman (individual soul) and the Paramatman (supreme soul) are one and the same, the difference between them being only one of degree. For, one is finite and limited while the other is infinite; one is dependent while the other is independent.

„Man cannot really help the world. God alone does that“

—  Ramakrishna

He who has created the sun and the moon, who has put love for their children in parents' hearts, endowed noble souls with compassion, and holy men and devotees with divine love. The man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself. There is gold buried in your heart, but you are not yet aware of it. It is covered with a thin layer of earth. Once you are aware of it, all these activities of yours will lessen. … Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then, through His grace, one realizes Him in course of time. God can be seen, one can talk to Him, as I am talking to you.
As quoted in Ramakrishna : Prophet of New India (1948) by Swami Nikhilananda, p. 80

„The inferior devotee says, "God is out there."“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 909
Context: There are three kinds of devotees: superior, mediocre, and inferior. The inferior devotee says, "God is out there." According to him God is different from His creation. The mediocre devotee says: "God is the Antaryami, the Inner Guide. God dwells in everyone's heart." The mediocre devotee sees God in the heart. But the superior devotee sees that God alone has become everything; He alone has become the twenty-four cosmic principles. He finds that everything, above and below, is filled with God.

„All will surely realize God. All will be liberated.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 818
Context: All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self.

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„The Master said: "Everything that exists is God." The pupil understood it literally, but not in the true spirit.“

—  Ramakrishna

Saying 15
Râmakrishna : His Life and Sayings (1898)
Context: The Master said: "Everything that exists is God." The pupil understood it literally, but not in the true spirit. While he was passing through a street, he met with an elephant. The driver (mahut) shouted aloud from his high place, "Move away, move away!" The pupil argued in his mind, "Why should I move away? I am God, so is the elephant also God. What fear has God of Himself?" Thinking thus he did not move. At last the elephant took him up by his trunk, and dashed him aside. He was severely hurt, and going back to his Master, he related the whole adventure. The Master said, "All right, you are God. The elephant is God also, but God in the shape of the elephant-driver was warning you also from above. Why did you not pay heed to his warnings?"

„None of you has seen the elephant.“

—  Ramakrishna

Saying 6; this is a variant of widely used teaching anecdotes of India involving blind men and an elephant.
Râmakrishna : His Life and Sayings (1898)
Context: Four blind men went to see an elephant. One touched the leg of the elephant, and said, "The elephant is like a pillar." The second touched the trunk, and said, "The elephant is like a thick stick or club." The third touched the belly, and said, "The elephant is like a big jar." The fourth touched the ears, and said, "The elephant is like a winnowing basket." Thus they began to dispute amongst themselves as to the figure of the elephant. A passer-by seeing them thus quarrelling, said, "What is it that you are disputing about?" They told him everything, and asked him to arbitrate. That man said, "None of you has seen the elephant. The elephant is not like a pillar, its legs are like pillars. It is not like a big water-vessel, its belly is like a water-vessel. It is not like a winnowing basket, its ears are like winnowing baskets. It is not like a thick stick or club, but its proboscis is like that. The elephant is the combination of all these." In the same manner those quarrel who have seen one aspect only of the Deity.... Different creeds are but different paths to reach the Almighty.

„It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God.“

—  Ramakrishna

As quoted in Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1965) by Christopher Isherwood, p. 263
Context: It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you.

„One can easily realize God if one is free from guile.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 458
Context: One can easily realize God if one is free from guile. Spiritual instruction produces quick results in a guileless heart. Such a heart is like well cultivated land from which all the stones have been removed. No sooner is the seed sown than it germinates. The fruit also appears quickly.

„The vain man of intellect busies himself with finding out the "why" and "wherefore" of creation, while the humble man of wisdom makes friends with the Creator and enjoys His gift of supreme bliss.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 164
Context: Two friends went into an orchard. One of them possessing much worldly wisdom, immediately began to count the mango trees there and the number of mangoes each tree bore, and to estimate what might be the approximate value of the whole orchard. His companion went to the owner, made friends with him, and then, quietly going into a tree, began at his host's desire to pluck the fruits and eat them. Whom do you consider to be the wiser of the two? Eat mangoes. It will satisfy your hunger. What is the good of counting the trees and leaves and making calculations? The vain man of intellect busies himself with finding out the "why" and "wherefore" of creation, while the humble man of wisdom makes friends with the Creator and enjoys His gift of supreme bliss.

„Brahman and Śakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 134
Context: Brahman and Śakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other. It is like fire and its power to burn. If you see the fire, you must recognize its power to burn also. You cannot think of fire without its power to burn, nor can you think of the power to burn without fire. You cannot conceive of the sun's rays without the sun, nor can you conceive of the sun without its rays. You cannot think of the milk without the whiteness, and again, you cannot think of the whiteness without the milk. Thus one cannot think of Brahman without Śakti, or of Śakti without Brahman. One cannot think of the Absolute without the Relative, or of the Relative without the Absolute.

„The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as "I am such an important man" or "I am so and so".“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 385
Context: The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as "I am such an important man" or "I am so and so". Level the mound of "I" to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion.

„You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice toward others.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 514
Context: A man can reach the roof of a house by stone stairs or a ladder or a rope-ladder or a rope or even by a bamboo pole. But he cannot reach the roof if he sets foot now on one and now on another. He should firmly follow one path. Likewise, in order to realize God a man must follow one path with all his strength. But you must regard other views as so many paths leading to God. You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice toward others.

„With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions.“

—  Ramakrishna

p. 124
Context: With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists and the Brahmos. The Mussalmans and the Christians will realize him too. All will certainly realize God if they are earnest and sincere.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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