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Encyclopedia > Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Sri Thakur Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: শ্রীরামকৄষ্ঞ পরমহংস) (February 18, 1836 - August 16, 1886) was a Bengali saint. A devotee of the goddess Kali and a teacher of Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, which contain the beliefs of Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism, he preached that "all religions lead to the same goal." He placed "spiritual religion" above "blind ritualism." Ramakrishna Paramhansa File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Ramakrishna Paramhansa File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Sri or Shri (Śrī), —pronounced halfway between sree and shree—is a Sanskrit title of veneration, a Hindu honorific stemming from the Vedic conception of prosperity (see Lakshmi below). ... Paramahamsa (also paramahansa) -- This is a religio/theological title associated with particular Hindu saints, by their devotees; one thus sees these religious figures referred to as -- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Paramahansa Yogananda. Etymology Paramahamsa is a Sanskrit word translated as Supreme swan. ... This article is about the Bengali language. ... February 18 is the 49th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1836 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1886 is a common year starting on Friday (click on link to calendar) // Events January 18 - Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England. ... A database query syntax error has occurred. ... This article is about the Hindu goddess. ... Advaita Vedanta is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. ... Hinduism (सनातन धर्म; also known as Sanātana Dharma, and Vaidika-Dharma ) is a worldwide tradition that encompasses several religions and ideologies. ... See also the Smartha page Smartism is a denomination of the religion of Hinduism and is closely affiliated with the Advaita tradition. ...

Contents


Traditional biography

In India, people usually concentrate more on the teachings of saints and less on whether the dates of significant events related to them are historically accurate. But in the case of Ramakrishna, we have authentic accounts of his life and times. This was possible because many of his disciples were well educated and had a strong desire to present only the facts which could be verified from multiple sources. The main credit for collecting and recording such facts goes to Swami Saradananda, a disciple of the Master. He wrote an authoritative biography to sift the facts from the legends and stories which were growing around Ramakrishna. A new English translation of this by Swami Chetanananda is available.


Traditional account of his childhood

Gadadhar was born in the village of Kamarpukur, located in what is now the Hoogly district of West Bengal. Gadadhar’s parents, Khudiram and Chandramani, were poor and made ends meet with great difficulty. Gadadhar was the pet of the whole village. He was handsome and had a natural gift for the fine arts. He, however, disliked going to school, not interested in earning money only. He loved Nature and spent his time in fields and fruit gardens outside the village with his friends. He was seen visiting monks who stopped at his village on their way to Puri. He would serve them and listen with rapt attention to the arguments they often had among themselves over religious issues. West Bengal (পশ্চিম বঙ্গ, Pościm Bôngo) is a state in the eastern region of India. ... Puri is a city in the Indian state of Orissa, which is famous for having a Jagannath temple. ...


Gadadhar attained the age when he should be invested with the sacred thread (Upanayana). 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. This was something unheard of! Tradition required that it should be a brahmin and not a sudra who would give him the first alms. This was pointed out to him but he was adamant. 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. Finally, Ramkumar, his eldest brother and now the head of the family after the passing away of their father, had to give in. Upanayana is a Hindu samskara for children of the three highest castes. ... A Brahmin (less often Brahman) is a member of the Hindu priestly caste. ... Shudra, or Sudra, is the fourth caste, or varna, in the traditional four-caste division among Indian castes. ...


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. About this time, a rich woman of Calcutta, Rani Rashmoni, founded a temple at Dakshineswar. She approached Ramkumar to serve as priest at the temple of Kali and Ramkumar agreed. After some persuasion, Gadadhar agreed to decorate the deity. When Ramkumar retired, Gadadhar took his place as priest. The Sanskrit language ( संस्कृता वाक्) is one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family and is not only a classical language, but also an official language of India. ... This article is on Calcutta/Kolkata, the city. ... Purohit means a priest exclusively for royal family or a king. ... Situated on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River in India, the Dakshineswar Kali Temple was constructed by Rani Rasmani, a wealthy widow, between 1847 and 1855. ... Dakshineswar, a small place situated alongside the Vivekananda Setu, in the Hoogly district, north of Calcutta, on the East bank of Hoogli River, is famous for its temples. ... This article is about the Hindu goddess. ...


Traditional account of his career as priest

When Gadadhar started worshipping the deity Bhavatarini, he began to ask himself if he was worshipping a piece of stone or a living Goddess. If he was worshipping a living Goddess, why should she not respond to his worship? This question nagged him day and night. Then, he began to pray to Kali: "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?" A deity or a god, is a postulated preternatural being, usually, but not always, of significant power, worshipped, thought holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, or respected by human beings. ... A goddess is a female deity in contrast with a male deity known as a god. A great many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both of the conventional genders and in some cases even hermaphroditic (or gender neutral) deities. ... This article is about the Hindu goddess. ...


He would weep bitterly and sometimes even cry out loudly while worshipping. At night, he would go into a nearby jungle and spend the whole night praying. One day, he was so impatient to see Mother Kali that he decided to end his life. 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. He then fell down unconscious on the floor.


Gadadhar was not, however, content with this. He prayed to Mother Kali for more religious experiences. He specially wanted to know what truths other religious systems taught. 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. Soon word spread about this remarkable man and people of all denominations and all stations of life began to come to him.


Traditional account of his married life

When rumours spread to Kamarpukur that Ramakrishna had turned mad as a result of over-taxing spiritual exercises at Dakshineswar, alarmed, neighbours advised Ramakrishna’s mother that he could be persuaded to marry, so that he might be more conscious of his responsibilities to the family. 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. The bride, six-year old and bearing the name, Sarada, was found. The marriage was duly solemnised. Sarada Devi was Ramakrishna's first disciple. He taught her everything he learnt from his various Gurus. She mastered every religious secret as quickly as Ramakrishna has done. 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. He said, 'I look upon you as my own mother and the Mother who is in the temple'. Ramakrishna made Sarada Devi feel as if she was not only the mother of his young disciples, but also of the entire humanity. At first, Sarada Devi was shy about playing this role, but slowly, she filled that role with courage. The affectionate term Holy Mother refers to Sarada Devi (1853-1920), Ramakrishnas wife and spiritual counterpart. ... The affectionate term Holy Mother refers to Sarada Devi (1853-1920), Ramakrishnas wife and spiritual counterpart. ... PÅ«jā (alternative transliteration pooja, Sanskrit: reverence or worship, loosely) is a religious ritual which most Hindus perform every morning after bathing and dressing but prior to taking any food or drink. ... Tripura Sundari is one of the mahavidyas. ... In Hinduism, Devi (goddess) is the personification of the supreme God as the Divine Mother of Hinduism. ...


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. The true nature of their relationship and kinship was beyond the grasp of ordinary minds. Sri Ramakrishna was convinced that her relationship and attitude toward him were firmly based on a divine spiritual plane. He came to this conclusion after having constant and close association with her. As they shared their lives, day and night, no other thought, other than that of the divine presence arose in their minds. 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. After the passing away of Ramakrishna she even became a religious teacher in her own rights.


Traditional account of later life

From now on he came to be known as Ramakrishna Paramahansa, and like a magnet he began to attract real seekers of God. He taught ceaselessly for fifteen years or so through parables, metaphors, songs and above all by his own life the basic truths of religion. 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. Among the contemporaries, who were against Hindu idol-worship, Keshab Chandra Sen and Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar were his admirers. This article or section should include material from Samadhi meditation Samadhi, or concentration of the mind, is the second of the three parts of the Buddhas teaching, namely Sila (morality), Samadhi (concentration), and Panna (insight/wisdom). ... Swami Vivekananda (Bangla: স্বামী বিবেকানন্দ, Hindi: स्वामी विवेकानन्द) (whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta Bangla: নরেন্দ্রনাথ দত্ত, Hindi: नरेन्द्रनाथ दत्त) (January 12, 1863 - July 4, 1902) is considered one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the Hindu religion. ... Keshab Chandra Sen (1838 to 1884) was a great scholar, orator, leader, and visionary. ... Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (Bangla: ঈশ্বর চন্দ্র বিদ্যাসাগর) (1820-1891) was a polymath. ...


Teachings

Ramakrishna's mystical realization, classified by Hindu tradition as nirvikalpa samadhi (literally, "constant meditation", 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. This is in agreement with the Rigvedic proclamation that "Truth is one but sages call it by many a name." As a result of this opinion, Ramakrishna actually spent periods of his life practising his own understandings of Islam, Christianity and various other Yogic and Tantric sects within Hinduism. Nirvikalpa samādhi , sometimes also spelled as ‘Nirbikalpa Samadhi’, is the highest state of samādhi, in which the aspirant realizes his/her total oneness with Brahma. ... It has been suggested that Samadhi meditation be merged into this article or section. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Look up Absolute in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Absolute can mean: The Absolute - a concept in philosophy Absolut Vodka - a Swedish brand of vodka Absolute value - in mathematics, the distance either a positive or negative number is from zero. ... In philosophy, Ultimate Reality is the absolute nature of all things. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Islam   listen? (Arabic: al-islām) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second largest religion. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Tantra (Sanskrit: loom), tantric yoga or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ...


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. These forces are responsible for human entrapment in the round of birth and death, and they must be fought and vanquished. 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. With the help of vidyamaya, devotees can rid themselves of avidyamaya and achieve the ultimate goal of becoming mayatita - that is, free from maya. The word Maya or maya can refer to: The Maya – a Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America the modern Maya people the pre-Columbian Maya civilization the Maya language Maya – a concept in Hindu/Vedic philosophy a state of misperception of reality the inherent force of... Avidyamaya and Vidyamaya are conceps created by the Hindu sage Ramakrishna based on his realizations. ... Avidyamaya and Vidyamaya are conceps created by the Hindu sage Ramakrishna based on his realizations. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ...


The four key concepts in Ramakrishna's teachings were the following:

  • the oneness of existence
  • the divinity of human beings
  • the unity of God
  • the harmony of religions

A personal account of his life and teachings, is recorded by his disciple, Mahendranath Gupta, simply known as "M", in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. 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. Mahendranath Gupta (1854–1932), who preferred to call himself M, was one of the foremost disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the author of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... A ritual is a formalised, predetermined set of symbolic actions generally performed in a particular environment at a regular, recurring interval. ... Superstition describes a provably-wrong belief or a set of behaviors that are related to magical thinking, whereby the practitioner believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events, can be influenced by certain specified behaviors. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Islam   listen? (Arabic: al-islām) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second largest religion. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament writings of his early followers. ...


Reception

The Hindu Renaissance that India experienced in the 19th century may be said to have been spurred by his life and work. Although the Brahmo Samaj and the Arya Samaj preceded the Ramakrishna Mission, their influence on a larger level was limited. With the emergence of the Mission, however, the situation changed dramatically. The Ramakrishna Mission was founded by Swami Vivekananda, but it was his spiritual master, Ramakrishna, who indirectly provided the main impetus for this movement. According to Sudhir Kakar, Ramakrishna (along with Ramana Maharshi) is widely considered the pre-eminent Hindu mystic of the last three centuries. Bengal renaissance is the period of time that saw surge in creative and social activity in Bengal. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Brahmo Samaj is a social and religious movement founded in Kolkata, India in 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. ... Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. ... Ramakrishna Mission was started by Swami Vivekananda on May 1 1897. ... Swami Vivekananda (Bangla: স্বামী বিবেকানন্দ, Hindi: स्वामी विवेकानन्द) (whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta Bangla: নরেন্দ্রনাথ দত্ত, Hindi: नरेन्द्रनाथ दत्त) (January 12, 1863 - July 4, 1902) is considered one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the Hindu religion. ... Ramana Mahrishi as portrayed in a loving oil painting by Jayalakshmi Satyendra Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is regarded by some as one of the greatest saints of Hinduism in the 20th century. ... Mysticism, from the Greek (mueo, to conceal), is the pursuit of achieving communion with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct, personal experience (intuition or insight) rather than rational thought; the belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that...


It could be argued that Ramakrishna's vision of Hinduism, and its popularisation by western converts like Christopher Isherwood, have largely coloured western notions of what Hinduism is. Ramakrishna's beliefs, along with his followers, were all Smarta in belief. Others, like Andrew Harvey and Ken Wilber, see the beginning of a new universal consciousness with Ramakrishna's life. Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1939 Christopher Isherwood (prior to 1946 Christopher William Bradshaw-Isherwood) (August 26, 1904 – January 4, 1986), Anglo-American novelist, was born at Disley, Cheshire (now in Greater Manchester) in the north west of England. ... Smarta is a Hindu follower of Smartism. ... Andrew Harvey is a Shakespeare scholar and mystic. ... Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ...


Recent controversy

In 1995, Rice University Professor of Religious Studies Jeffrey Kripal's book Kali’s Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna was released, a highly controversial psychoanalytic study of Ramakrishna. It won the American Academy of Religion's Best First Book in the History of Religions Prize in 1996. Far from the innocent saint of traditional stories, Ramakrishna is portrayed as driven by homoerotic, pedophiliac passions. Kripal argues that "Ramakrishna’s mystical experiences...were in actual fact profoundly, provocatively, scandalously erotic."[1] Kripal's claims have offended and enraged Hindu laymen, scholars, and religious leaders. Censoring the book was even debated in the Parliament of India. Kripal maintains, however, that less than 100 copies have been sold in India, and that few of its opponents have actually read the book. Psychoanalysis is the revelation of unconscious relations, in a systematic way through an associative process. ... The American Academy of Religion is the worlds largest association of scholars in the field of religion and related topics. ... Fishers of men; Oil on panel by Adriaen van de Venne (1614) Religion—sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices, values, and institutions associated with such belief. ... Since its coining, the term homosexuality has aquired multiple meanings. ... Pedophilia (American English), pædophilia/paedophilia (Commonwealth English), or pedosexuality is the condition of being sexually attracted primarily or exclusively to prepubescent children. ... Executive President Prime Minister The Union Ministries Legislative Parliament Rajya Sabha Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Lok Sabha Speaker of the House Judicial Supreme Court Chief Justice of the Supreme Court High Courts District Courts Constitution Fundamental Rights and Directive principles Regions States and territories Elections General Elections State Assembly...


Swami Tyagananda, minister of the Ramakrishna-Vedanta Society in Boston, wrote an 173 page rebuttal, entitled "Kali’s Child Revisited, or Didn’t Anyone Check the Documentation?". Tyagananda severely criticized Kripal's translation of Bengali phrases and said that Kripal tended to quote selectively and deceptively from the Kathamrita in order to create evidence for his interpretation. In the essay, Tyagananda alleged no less than 191 translation mistakes or deceptions by Kripal. Additionally, Tyagananda accuses Kripal of having only an elementary knowledge of the Bengali language, and no understanding of Tantra. Since both Tantra and the translation of Bengali terms play an important role in Kripal's argument, this is a strong critique. Tantra (Sanskrit: loom), tantric yoga or tantrism is any of several esoteric traditions rooted in the religions of India. ...


Kripal's response was to apologize for his translation errors, but to maintain that they are not serious enough to damage the book's overall interpretation. Kripal also responded that because Tyagananda questioned Kripal's personal motives for writing the book, Tyagananda's critique amounts to an ad hominem — a type of logical fallacy. Additionally, Kripal points out that all interpretations are the product of the interaction of the reader's horizon of understanding with that of the author's. Critics will point out that the same can be said of his interpretations of the original Bengali texts. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally argument to the man), is a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by addressing the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself. ... A logical fallacy is an error in logical argument which is independent of the truth of the premises. ... Hermeneutics (Hermeneutic means interpretive), is a branch of philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of texts. ...


One response to Kripal included an as-yet-unaccepted invitation to an open debate with Bengali scholars. The response also says that translating should not be done literally or through European pathologies, but must be based on the cultural insider's perspective on the connotations that words have in various native contexts. It also elaborates on the many faults of, the power strucutures that play a role in, and the lack of Indians in U.S. Hinduism studies. It also challenges the legitimacy of Freudian psychoanalysis of Eastern spirituality. Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. ...


Quotations

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:
  • "Knowledge leads to unity. Ignorance, to disunity."
  • "As a man thinks, so he becomes."

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

External links

Max Müller Friedrich Max Müller (December 6, 1823 – October 28, 1900), more commonly known as Max Müller, was a German Orientalist, one of the founders of Indian studies, who virtually created the discipline of comparative religion. ...

Further reading

  • The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (I & II)- Mahendranatha Gupta ISBN 982-3
  • Sri Ramakrishna Upanishad - C. Rajagopalachari ISBN 038-9
  • Ramakrishna and His Divine Play - Swami Saradananda ISBN 0-916356-65-5
  • The life of Ramakrishna - Romain Rolland ISBN 02001
  • Ramakrishna and his disciples - Christopher Isherwood ISBN 02002
  • Ramakrishna : a biography in pictures ISBN 02003
  • Ramakrishna as we saw Him - Swami Chetanananda ISBN 02011
  • Kali's Child : The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna - Jeffrey J. Kripal ISBN 0226453774
  • Ramakrishna and Christ, The Supermystics - Paul Hourihan ISBN 193181600X
Topics in Hinduism
Shruti (primary Scriptures): Vedas | Upanishads | Bhagavad Gita | Itihasa (Ramayana & Mahabharata) | Agamas
Smriti (other texts): Tantras | Sutras | Puranas | Brahma Sutras | Hatha Yoga Pradipika | Smritis | Tirukural | Yoga Sutra
Concepts: Avatar | Brahman | Dharma | Karma | Moksha | Maya | Ishta-Deva | Murti | Reincarnation | Samsara | Trimurti | Turiya
Schools & Systems: Schools of Hinduism | Early Hinduism | Samkhya | Nyaya | Vaisheshika | Yoga | Mimamsa | Vedanta | Tantra | Bhakti
Traditional Practices: Jyotish | Ayurveda
Rituals: Aarti | Bhajans | Darshan | Diksha | Mantras | Puja | Satsang | Stotras | Yajna
Gurus and Saints: Shankara | Ramanuja | Madhvacharya | Ramakrishna | Vivekananda | Sree Narayana Guru | Aurobindo | Ramana Maharshi | Sivananda | Chinmayananda | Sivaya Subramuniyaswami | Swaminarayan | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Denominations:
Vaishnavism | Saivism | Shaktism | Smartism | Agama Hindu Dharma | Contemporary Hindu movements | Survey of Hindu organisations
Hindu deities: List of Hindu deities | Hindu mythology

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ramakrishna Mission (1015 words)
Although Ramakrishna is believed to have said that there are as many paths to salvation as there are points of view, some of his followers today advocate a quite definite path.
Ramakrishna's experience was that the truth of all religions is a manifestation of the Shakti, or Divine Mother, and that this divine power is at work with everyone, including the poor, and thus inspiring the Mission's social service.
Ramakrishna, the God-man of modern India, was born as Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya in the Bengal village of Kamarpukur in 1836.
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