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Addenda

A. Vortexes   —   B. Deep-going Themes   —   C. Ramakrishna's Influence

A. Vortexes

This small index of focal points in Ramakrishna's teachings is not exhaustive. There is a larger index in the original work from 1907. The in-text brackets of this sort - [ } - show the pages that are referred to. There is a search function on the site that may help, if you write such as "Ramakrishna stories" and add the topics you would like to inpect. - TK

A child's "I" . . . page 57
Ajnanam and jnanam . . . page 119
All rituals end in samâdhi . . . page 265
Animal food and Vegetarianism . . . page 398
Attachment to the body . . . page 336
Attainment of knowledge gradual . . . page 308
Bliss comes in meditation. . . . page 190
Book knowledge and realisation . . . page 82
Brahman and Sakti are one . . . page 132
Brahman impersonal and personal . . . page 132
Brahman is Silence . . . page 109
Brahman untouched by good and evil . . . page 105
Character and associations . . . page 198
Difference between Soul and God . . . page 55
Different aspects of God . . . page 148
Difficult to be rid of "I" . . . page 56
Discrimination of an Advaitin . . . page 146
Dispassion . . . page 49
Distaste for worldly conversation . . . page 215
Divine communion . . . page 296
Divine love and ecstasy . . . page 74
Divine Mother in all women . . . page 335
Divine Mother omnipresent . . . page 154
Divinity everywhere . . . page 210
Dualistic and monistic Vedanta . . . page 278
Ecstasy . . . page 80
Egotism rises from ignorance . . . page 235
Effect of lectures on worldly men . . . page 264
Example of Janaka . . . page 161
First cleanse the heart . . . page 175
First see God, then help the world . . . page 170
Four classes of individual souls . . . page 44
Four stages of realisation . . . page 322
God dwells in all . . . page 37
God in everything . . . page 39
God Personal and Impersonal . . . page 28
God the one Master . . . page 167
God, the sea . . . page 249
God, the Sun . . . page 60
God-vision the end of all performance of duty . . . page 172
Grace of God . . . pages 286, 313, 327
Hatha yoga . . . page 274
Helping others . . . page 295
His mission . . . pages 10, 18
His renunciation . . . page 16
His samâdhi . . . page 15
Householder's duties . . . page 333
How a householder should live in the world . . . page 77
How to pray . . . page 303
Human soul the child of God . . . page 204
Humility of Ramakrishna . . . page 139
Ideal of a wet-nurse . . . page 250
Image worship . . . page 63
Intense devotion necessary . . . page 164
Jnana and vijnana . . . page 281
Jnana yoga . . . page 270
Karma (past actions) . . . page 309
Karma yoga . . . page 271
Knowledge is relative . . . page 389
Kumbhaka . . . page 275
Law of Karma . . . page 183
Lover of God . . . page 191
Maya . . . page 114
Maya and daya . . . page 182
Meditation . . . page 276
Non-attachment . . . page 112
Non-attachment necessary . . . page 85
Non-dualistic Vedantins . . . page 180
Ordinary spiritual teachers are blind . . . page 169
Parable of a Brahmin priest and his boy . . . page 125
" " " man seeking a light . . . page 283
" " " salt doll . . . page 109
" " " woodcutter . . . page 243
" " " woodcutter and his dream . . . page 280
" " " the ant and the mount of sugar . . . page 107
" " " bird on the mast . . . page 282
" " " chameleon . . . page 29
" " " deserted temple . . . page 174
" " " disciple and the mad elephant . . . page 38
" " " elephant and the blind men . . . page 28
" " " false Sadhu . . . page 205
" " " farmer and his only child . . . page 93
" " " farmer and the canal . . . page 49
" " " father and his dying son . . . page 84
" " " four travellers . . . page 255
" " " monk and the Zemindar . . . page 88
" " " pious weaver . . . page 90
" " " rich man and his Sircar . . . page 120
" " " snake and the holy man . . . page 40
" " " three robbers . . . page 253
" " " tiger . . . page 203
" " " Vedic father and his two sons . . . page 106
Path of devotion . . . page 240
Pilgrimage [quite] useless . . . page 407
Power of repentance . . . page 59
Power of the mind . . . page 158
Practice of non-attachment . . . page 68
Pure heart . . . page 59
Qualified non-dualism . . . page 370
Raja yoga . . . page 271
Ramakrishna's childlike nature . . . page 100
Ramakrishna's love of humor . . . page 102
Ramakrishna's samâdhi . . . page 131
Renunciation not necessary for all . . . page 158
Right discrimination . . . page 79
Spiritual awakening necessary to see the Reality . . . page 372
Stages of spiritual practice . . . page 307
Story of a boy and the cow-house . . . page 245
Story of a man and his cottage . . . page 246
The Absolute Brahman . . . page 390
The nature of disciples must be examined . . . page 167
The unripe and ripe "I" . . . page 256
Three states of consciousness in ecstasy . . . page 302
Unity in diversity . . . page 115
Vishnu as a boar . . . page 260
Who is a true spiritual teacher? . . . page 168
Work necessary for God-vision . . . page 80
Work without devotion . . . page 249

B. Ramakrishna's Deeper Themes

Hopefully, these goals won't kill you but benefit you if applied carefully and well. They all tie in with Ramakrishna's main teachings:

Reality is one; personal as well as impersonal, and wearing different names.

A pure mind is free from carnal lots. "Do not let worldly thoughts and anxieties disturb your mind."

The goal of human life is to realise Reality. "There is nothing wrong in your being in the world", but also: "He is born in vain who, having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realise God in this very life."

Reality can be realised by adequate methods (including "paths") for it.

It is favourable to have and hold a positive outlook on life.

Be truthful and persist to benefit. "Be not a traitor." "Be sincere".

The Lord of Mirth and so on manifests more greatly in good people. "He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee."

Householders need not renounce the world to succeed, but seek to remain as little attached as can be. "Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud, but its skin is always bright and shiny."

Love should be applied in practical life.

Women are to be treated with respect, and this includes fallen women too.

Practise "the name of God" (mantra meditation).

Unfurl the sails of your boat (mind) in the breeze of grace so as to make rapid headway.

How to? Many ◦practice TM.

C. Ramakrishna's Life and Influence

Ramakrishna was a Hindu priest, and took to intense tantra yoga practices as a young man, so much that his relatives were alarmed and got him married to a little girl from the neighbouring village. It hardly affected his activities. He tried various traditional ways of training, most notably tantra and Vedanta, and realized God. However, his looming front aftewards was naïve-looking devotion as described in Hindu scriptures, . His first teacher was a remarkable woman who taught him tantra. Three years later a wandering monk, Totapuri, helped him into the state called Nirvikalpa, and Ramakrishna soon remained in it for six months.

Ramakrishna had become a Vedantin monk when his now nineteen years old wife Sarada came to live with him in 1872. He taught her to attend to household duties and an intensely spiritual life. Sarada continued to stay with him. Their marital relationship was purely spiritual. Outwardly he lived with childlike simplicity. A patron took care of his needs.

Ramakrishna did not write any book or deliver public lectures. Instead, he spoke in a simple language using parables and metaphors by way of illustration. His conversations over the four last years of his life were noted down by Mahendranath Gupta, who published them. This is the first, authorised English translation of it (of 1907). A much more elaborated work appeared a generation later, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942); it is still popular.

Ramakrishna got throat cancer in 1885 and nursed day and night. In the small hours of 16 August 1886 Sri Ramakrishna gave up his body.

Ramakrishna and his movement - Ramakrishna Mission - played a leading role in the modern revival of Hinduism in India. They inspired and deeply influenced modern Indian history.

The name he is known by, Ramakrishna, is from the Vaishnavite tradition, where Rama and Krishna are told to be incarnations of God the Preserver, Vishnu. However, he also stuck to the goddess Kali, that he came to bond with as his Mother God.

In tantra, the predominant view is that there is One God who is seemingly branching out into many different gods and goddesses. Some gods and goddesses are taught to be sound and uplifting to man, others not really so. Several of them are described carefully in books on tantra. Goddess Kali has a dual role in this scenario. Originally a blood-thirsty killer of humans, garlanded by human skulls, she is also considered by some followers as Dear Mother. But is she all-good? That's the deep question to consider.

"It takes one to know one" – does it apply full well?

Below I just render a little:

The reputed orientalist Max Müller was inspired by Ramakrishna, and even wrote a book about him, called Tales and Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. Muller said:

Sri Ramakrishna was a living illustration of the truth that Vedanta, when properly realised, can become a practical rule of life . . . the Vedanta philosophy is the very marrow running through all the bones of Ramakrishna’s doctrine.

Leo Tolstoy described Ramakrishna as a "remarkable sage". Romain Rolland considered Ramakrishna to be the "consummation of two thousand years of the spiritual life of three hundred million people" and "the younger brother of Christ."

Mohandas Gandhi wrote such as: "He was a living embodiment of godliness."

Sri Aurobindo considered Ramakrishna to be an incarnation of God en par with Gautama Buddha. He wrote:

All the development of the previous two thousand years and more since Buddha appeared has been a preparation for the harmonisation of spiritual teaching and experience by the Avatar of Dakshineshwar.

Jawaharlal Nehru described Ramakrishna as "one of the great rishis [seers] of India, who had come to draw our attention to the higher things of life and of the spirit."

Philosopher Arindam Chakrabarti called Ramakrishna a "practically illiterate, faith-bound, emotional, otherworldly esoteric [who] was no less a philosopher than Buddha or Socrates."

Vivekananda, Ramakrishna’s most well-known disciple, spread the message of Ramakrishna across the world and helped introduce Hinduism to the west. He founded two organisations based on the teachings of Ramakrishna.

[Cf. Wikipedia, s.v. "Ramakrishna's influence"]

Some related works

In 2006, composer Philip Glass wrote The Passion of Ramakrishna - a choral work that premiered on September 16, 2006 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California.

Franz Dvorak (1862–1927), a painter from Prague, inspired by the teachings of Ramakrishna made several paintings of Ramakrishna and his wife, Sarada Devi.

A great many persons have also written about Ramakrishna and his legacy, including many other disciples than M (Mahendranath Gupta), who wrote a diary - later published in book form - of meetings and experiences with Ramakrishna. This is the first edition of that book.

[Ibid.]

Collection

The Gospel of Ramakrishna by M  

The Gospel of Ramakrishna by M, To top Set Archive section Next

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by M USER'S GUIDE: [Link]
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