A proponent of service to humanity.
1834 - 1886
Ramakrishna Paramahansa was a great religious saint and a teacher of Bengali language. He was a Sanskrit scholar who interpreted Hindu religion in the true vedantic spirit. He believed that all religions of the world were alike and their ultimate mission was the realization of God. He wished to bring about a synthesis among divergent faiths. Vivekananda, the greatest saint was his disciple who founded the "Ramakrishna Mission".
It is said that Bengalis possess a curious mixture of high intellectuality coupled with an equally strong emotionalism. A remarkable man of saintly character, Ramakrishna Paramahansa was born in 1834. He represented a tradition of loving faith and service of humanity during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was a simple priest in a temple at Dakshinswara near Calcutta.
His simplicity was a symbol of wisdom and guide towards peaceful social life. He was a man of faith and great virtue, who believed in the Indian traditions. He interpreted Hindu religion in the true Vedantic spirit. According to him all the religions are alike and their ultimate mission is realization of God. He adopted the modes of worship practiced by various religions.
Ramakrishna, in his search of self-realization even met Muslim and Christian mystics, some of whom also lived with him for some time. His extra ordinary personality and character gradually attracted the attention of people.
Laying stress on the essentials of religious faiths, Ramakrishna linked up the various aspects of the Hindu religion and philosophy and seemed to represent all of them in his own personality. He also brought within his fold other religions. He was opposed to all kinds of sectarianism and emphasized that the ultimate destination of life lies in the adoption of the road that leads to peace.
He had a magnetic style of presenting his ideas and thoughts, which could touch the sentiments of people and give them peace. His personal life is a story, full of inspiration to humanity, even for those who have never seen him. An order of service was established in his name, called "Ramakrishna Mission" by his famous disciple Swami Vivekananda. It has an unequalled record in humanitarian relief and social work. The Mission is also committed to serve the people who are suffering from various ailments. The members of the Ramakrishna Mission carry on their work in hospitals and educational establishments and engage in relief work whenever there is any calamity, either in India or any other part of the world.
Ramakrishna asserted that God sees no difference between a Brahmin and Chandala and at times he would live like a Chandala.
Ramakrishna passed away in 1886.