RAMAKRISHNA MATH http://www.rkmooty.org ooty, Dist. The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:51:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 http://www.rkmooty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-5-32x32.png RAMAKRISHNA MATH http://www.rkmooty.org 32 32 Ratham : In connection with 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda http://www.rkmooty.org/2017/01/09/ramatham-in-connection-with-150th-anniversary-of-swami-vivekananda/ Mon, 09 Jan 2017 15:16:21 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=184 ooty___27.05.2013_(nilgiris_dist.,)_640x360

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Cultural competition http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/09/23/cultural-competition/ Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:43:32 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=175 Math is conducting Cultural competition for last 2 years. It is evincing lot of good response.  Last year (2015-16) around 300 students came for the final round.

150th birth anniversary of Sisiter Nivedita, Cultural Competition 2016

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As a part of the cultural activities, the math conducted Interschool Cultural Competition for the Year 2016 in commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita on Saturday the 27th August 2016 at the Vivekananda Memorial Matriculation School, M. Palada, The Nilgiris.

A total number of 683 Students from 27 Schools participated in the competitions that were held in 6 different categories in two languages, Tamil and English. This year we have increased the number for prizes, so that we have 3 First prize Students, 3 Second prize Students and 3 Third prize Students.

Educational activities

Math has instituted Vivekananda Scholarships in order to help economically weak, but academically strong students. This will help the students pursue their studies and ambition, without being of any burden to their already over burden parents.

The Scholarships for this year is being provided in four different categories

  • 10th Standard
  • 12th Standard
  • Diploma and
  • Under Graduates

Around 150 applications were distributed to several schools and colleges requesting for identifying the academically strong and economically weak students who are studying in their organization. With the support of the Schools and Colleges we collected the student list. The applications were vetted by a group of experts and a total of 52 students have been selected from various schools and colleges to receive the Swami Vivekananda Scholarships.

17 Students from 10th Standard, 12 Students from 12th Standard

10 Students from Polytechnic, 13 students from Under Graduate Courses in Colleges will receive the Swami Vivekananda Scholarships for the Year 2016.

A Total of Rs 2,17,500 has been spent on this Scholarship project.

 

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Blankets Distribution http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/09/23/blankets-distribution/ Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:19:09 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=167 Ramakrishna math Ooty, takes up welfare activities on a regular basis. During Winter periods, ashrama distributes blankets do the poor and deserving people This year math distributed dressing materials worth 33 lakh to deserving people with the help of ITC company
Math provides pecuniary help to poor people every month.

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J.J. Goodwin : Stenographer of Swami Vivekananda http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/29/j-j-goodwin/ http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/29/j-j-goodwin/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:25:47 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=91 JJGoodwinJosiah John Goodwin (20 September 1870 – 2 June 1898) was a British stenographer and a disciple of Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda. Goodwin is known for recording Vivekananda’s speeches, and it is thought that without his efforts most of Vivekananda’s works would have been lost.

During his lecture tour in the United States, Vivekananda’s disciples could not find a stenographer who could keep pace with his rapid speech. Therefore, his friends and admirers engaged a very expensive court-reporter, J. J. Goodwin.

Goodwin was born on 20 September 1870 at Batheaston, England. His father Josiah Goodwin was a stenographer and an editor of the Birmingham Advertiser, the Wilts Country Mirsv-22-chicago-sept-1893ror and the Exeter Gazette. Goodwin worked as a journalist from the age of fourteen, and had an unsuccessful journalistic venture in Bath in 1893. He left Bath and travelled to Australia, and later on, to America.

 

After his influential speech at the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions, Swami Vivekananda travelled around America on a lecture tour. During the tour, Vivekananda’s admirers wished to record his lectures and an advertisement was published in December 1895 in two New York newspapers, the Herald and the World. In response to the advertisement, twenty-five-year-old Goodwin applied for the job. He became one of Vivekananda’s staunchest followers and played an important role in recording Vivekananda’s ex tempore speeches. After the first week Goodwin refused any money, saying, “If Vivekananda gives his life, the least I can do is to give my service.” He accepted only what was necessary for his basic subsistence. Goodwin was a hard worker amidst Vivekananda’s strenuous schedule: after taking the lectures stenographically, he would type them and hand over the manuscript to the newspapers and Brahmavadin and used to get prepared for the same work on the following day.

In August 1898, Swami Vivekananda wrote the poem Requiescat in pace in memory of Goodwin. The poem began:

Speed forth, O soul! upon thy star-strewn path,
Speed, blissful one, where thought is ever free,

Where time and sense no longer mist the view,
Eternal peace and blessings be on thee!

IMG_20150810_141728Goodwin came to ooty for rest and recuperation but passed away at the young age of 28 on on 2 June 1898. His mortal remains were interred at the St. Thomas church Cemetry, Ooty.

Soon after Vivekananda, who was in India at that time, was informed about it. Very recently, in the same year, Vivekananda had received the news of Indian yogi Pavhari Baba‘s death too. According to Vivekananda researcher Pravrajika Vrajaprana after receiving the death news of Goodwin, Vivekananda was “visibly disturbed”.

came to ooty for rest and recuperation but passed away at the young age of 28 on 02/06/1898. His mortal remains were interred at the St. Thomas church Cemetry, Ooty.

In August 1898 Vivekananda wrote in tribute:

With infinite sorrow I learn the sad news of Mr. Goodwin’s departure from this life, the more so as it was terribly sudden and therefore prevented all possibilities of my being at his side at the time of death. The debt of gratitude I owe him can never be repaid, and those who think they have been helped by any thought of mine ought to know that almost every word of it was published through the untiring and most unselfish exertions of Mr. Goodwin. In him I have lost a friend true as steel, a disciple of never-failing devotion, a worker who knew not what tiring was, and the world is less rich by one of those few who are born, as it were, to live only for others.

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Our Activities http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/29/our-activities/ Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:22:58 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=88 Other activities carried out were

1) During the thirties the Ramakrishna Vijayam was edited for 5 years at Ooty Ashram.
2) A Model Gurukula was started and run for about 4 years in 1947.
3) Religious classes were regularly conducted from 1937 both at the Ashram and at town schools, Coonoor and Staff College Wellington.

4) A monthly retreat – Antaryogam – on last Sundays was started from May 1971 and is still continuing.

5) In 1983 April 25 th a beautiful marble image of Sri Rama Krishna was installed and consecrated in the shrine by most revered Swami Vireshwaranandaji.

6) A new building – the monks’ quarters and extended prayer hall were opened on 26/03/1989 by Rev. Tapasyanandaji.

7) The Golden Jubilee of the Ashrama in 09/1976, the 150 th Birthday of Sri Rama Krishna in 1986 and the Platinum Jubilee of the Ashrama in 2001 were celebrated in a quiet and solemn way.

Present activities:- The ashrama maintains a shrine where nityapuja& evening arati are conducted daily.

On Ekadasi days Ramnam Sankirtan is held. Birthday celebrations of Holy Trio is observed and due solemnity providing pecuniary help and ration doles to the poor and destitute, distribution of educational help to school going children is another activity.

From 1992, medical help to the poor is given during rains and winter, whenever need arises, the ashrama provides distress relief in and around Ooty.

The Ashrama manages in a supervisory capacity the Holy Mother Trust established in 1938 by Sri Vasanandaji, consisting now of about 18 acres of land out of which 3 acres are under tea plantation.

The Ooty Ashrama is maintained by devotees, admirers and sympathisers of the Ramakrishna Ideal, by collections made in town and villages of Nilgiris every year. This is a tradition even to this day.

Many distinguished and venerable monks have visited and blessed the Ashram. Many devotees have been initiated by these realized souls.

  • Most Revered Swami Virajanandaji Maharaj in 1939
  • Most Revered Swami Vireshwaranandaji Maharaj in 1968, 71, 76, 83
  • Most Revered Swami Gambhiranandaji Maharaj in 1970.
  • Most Revered Swami Bhuteshanandaji Maharaj in 1977.
  • Most Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj in 1966, 1991
  • Most Revered Swami Tapasyanandaji Maharaj in 1989.
  • Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj
  • Most Revered Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj

The R.K.Math Ooty as a Retreat Centre is trying to fulfil its purpose by awakening the latest spirituality of the people here.

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Sister Nivedita http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/26/sister-nivedita/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:34:08 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=53
Sister Nivedita

Nivedita: the Dedicated One

Margaret Noble was of Irish parentage and was born at Tyrone, Ireland, on October 28, 1867. Her father Samuel was a priest of an Irish Church, and her mother Mary was a kindhearted young lady. Her grandfather John Noble was also a priest with deep love for God and his motherland. From her grandfather Margaret inherited undaunted courage and vigorous patriotism, while from her father she inherited boundless compassion for the poor. Margaret often went with her grandfather and her father to the homes of the poor and rendered service to them. After finishing her education at the Halifax College, she started working as a teacher in various girls’ schools.

In 1892, at the age of 25, she opened a school of her own in Wimbledon. Margaret was endowed with a sharp intellect, an enquiring mind, and a deep insight of love. Along with these she possessed a breadth of heart to a remarkable degree.

As a result there was growing dissatisfaction in her with the ways of the then existing orthodox religion and was tormented by doubt and a feeling of uncertainty.It was at this time, that Swami Vivekananda reached London with his message of Vedanta. And his words came as “living water to men perishing of thirst”, to quote Margaret’s own words.

In March 1899 a plague epidemic broke out in Kolkata. Inspired and guided by Vivekananda, Nivedita plunged into action to save the city. She formed a committee of dedicated workers from among the inspired youth who helped her fight this menace. They cleaned the streets and lanes and nursed the victims. Nivedita worked round the clock, often foregoing food and rest. She often gave up drinking milk to save the money to help others. Her health was seriously impaired as she ran from home to home, hoping against hope to overtake and defeat death. At times, Nivedita stayed on with the bereaved for hours together, offering them her consolation and sympathy. Nivedita and her team incessantly carried on their formidable effort for a full month before they succeeded in controlling the disease.

Desk of Sister Nivedita

Nivedita started her school at No.16, Bosepara Lane in Bagh Bazar, Kolkata on November 13,1898 with the blessings of Holy Mother. Parents in the Orthodox Indian society at that time hesitated to send their daughters to school and more so to a school run by a woman of an alien culture. Nevertheless Nivedita succeeded in beginning with a few girls of varying ages. It was extremely difficult to meet the expenses of the school and have enough left sustain herself

In June 1899, Nivedita went to Europe and America to get financial help for her school in India. She returned in February 1902 and that very year, Swami Viveknanda attained Mahasamadhi. To fulfill his trust she sprang in to action shaking off her grief. Her conviction grew that a nation under foreign domination could not dream of regeneration be it social, political or cultural. She vowed to work for the liberation of the country she had adopted. Nivedita made her school a centre of nationalistic activity where Bankim Chandra’s national anthem, Vande Mataram was the school prayer. She preached that nationalistic sentiment and faith on the ideals of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda would usher in a new dawn of hope. Nivedita’s life had become one continuous round of political campaigns, public addresses and writing books.

Her writings and speeches inspired young men to lead nobler and purposeful lives. She was an unfailing source of inspiration to Rabindranatha Tagore and to eminent political leaders like Surendranath Bannerjea, Gopalakrishna Gokhale, Ramesh Chandra Dutta, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh. The political leaders Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi paid their respects to her.

Nivedita wrote books on Indian cultural heritage. She encouraged gifted artists like Abanindranath Tagore,Nandalal Bose and funded their study of the works of art of Ajanta, Ellora and other great Indian artists of the past. From 1902 to 1904 she went on extensive lecture tours, urging people to strive to make India free: addressing meetings in Patna, Lucknow, Varanasi, Bombay, Nagpur and Madras. The colonial British rulers grew furious, but could not silence her. On the contrary, several distinguished Englishmen like Ramsay Macdonald, who was to become Britain’s Prime Minister, and Lady Minto, whose husband became the Viceroy of India, visited her school and commended its work.

When the British Government partitioned Bengal which resulted in a great agitation, Nivedita jumped into the fray. Soon after, there was a devastating flood in East Bengal. This was followed by famine. Nivedita waded through the water for miles to see the plight of the flood victims and report it in newspapers and journals, pointing out the gross negligence and failure of the British-Indian government to undertake relief measures. She harnessed the youth of Bengal into relief work. Incessant work and lack of rest took its toll on Nivedita’s health. But she would not rest and at last, she made a legal Will in which the property, the little money she had and the copyright of her writings she left to the Belur Math to be used for the national education of Indian women. She breathed her last on the 13th October, 1911 at Darjeeling, leaving behind her name as the deathless symbol of sacrifice and service.

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Swami Vivekananda http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/26/swami-vivekananda/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:31:34 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=47

Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father,Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.

With Sri Ramakrishna
At the threshold of youth Narendra had to pass through a period of spiritual crisis when he was assailed by doubts about the existence of God. It was at that time he first heard about Sri Ramakrishna from one of his English professors at college. One day in November 1881, Narendra went to meet Sri Ramakrishna who was staying at the Kali Temple in Dakshineshwar. He straightaway asked the Master a question which he had put to several others but had received no satisfactory answer: “Sir, have you seen God?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: “Yes, I have. I see Him as clearly as I see you, only in a much intenser sense.”
Apart from removing doubts from the mind of Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna won him over through his pure, unselfish love. Thus began a guru-disciple relationship which is quite unique in the history of spiritual masters. Narendra now became a frequent visitor to Dakshineshwar and, under the guidance of the Master, made rapid strides on the spiritual path. At Dakshineshwar, Narendra also met several young men who were devoted to Sri Ramakrishna, and they all became close friends.

Difficult Situations
After a few years two events took place which caused Narendra considerable distress. One was the sudden death of his father in 1884. This left the family penniless, and Narendra had to bear the burden of supporting his mother, brothers and sisters. The second event was the illness of Sri Ramakrishna which was diagnosed to be cancer of the throat. In September 1885 Sri Ramakrishna was moved to a house at Shyampukur, and a few months later to a rented villa at Cossipore. In these two places the young disciples nursed the Master with devoted care. In spite of poverty at home and inability to find a job for himself, Narendra joined the group as its leader.

Beginnings of a Monastic Brotherhood
Sri Ramakrishna instilled in these young men the spirit of renunciation and brotherly love for one another. One day he distributed ochre robes among them and sent them out to beg food. In this way he himself laid the foundation for a new monastic order. He gave specific instructions to Narendra about the formation of the new monastic Order. In the small hours of 16 August 1886 Sri Ramakrishna gave up his mortal body.
After the Master’s passing, fifteen of his young disciples (one more joined them later) began to live together in a dilapidated building at Baranagar in North Kolkata. Under the leadership of Narendra, they formed a new monastic brotherhood, and in 1887 they took the formal vows of sannyasa, thereby assuming new names. Narendra now became Swami Vivekananda (although this name was actually assumed much later.)

Awareness of Life’s Mission
After establishing the new monastic order, Vivekananda heard the inner call for a greater mission in his life. While most of the followers of Sri Ramakrishna thought of him in relation to their own personal lives, Vivekananda thought of the Master in relation to India and the rest of the world. As the prophet of the present age, what was Sri Ramakrishna’s message to the modern world and to India in particular? This question and the awareness of his own inherent powers urged Swamiji to go out alone into the wide world. So in the middle of 1890, after receiving the blessings of Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, known to the world as Holy Mother, who was then staying in Kolkata, Swamiji left Baranagar Math and embarked on a long journey of exploration and discovery of India.

Discovery of Real India
During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses. He was the first religious leader in India to understand and openly declare that the real cause of India’s downfall was the neglect of the masses. The immediate need was to provide food and other bare necessities of life to the hungry millions. For this they should be taught improved methods of agriculture, village industries, etc. It was in this context that Vivekananda grasped the crux of the problem of poverty in India (which had escaped the attention of social reformers of his days): owing to centuries of oppression, the downtrodden masses had lost faith in their capacity to improve their lot. It was first of all necessary to infuse into their minds faith in themselves. For this they needed a life-giving, inspiring message. Swamiji found this message in the principle of the Atman, the doctrine of the potential divinity of the soul, taught in Vedanta, the ancient system of religious philosophy of India. He saw that, in spite of poverty, the masses clung to religion, but they had never been taught the life-giving, ennobling principles of Vedanta and how to apply them in practical life.
Thus the masses needed two kinds of knowledge: secular knowledge to improve their economic condition, and spiritual knowledge to infuse in them faith in themselves and strengthen their moral sense. The next question was, how to spread these two kinds of knowledge among the masses? Through education – this was the answer that Swamiji found.

Need for an Organization
One thing became clear to Swamiji: to carry out his plans for the spread of education and for the uplift of the poor masses, and also of women, an efficient organization of dedicated people was needed. As he said later on, he wanted “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.” It was to serve as this ‘machinery’ that Swamiji founded the Ramakrishna Mission a few years later.

Decision to attend the Parliament of Religions
It was when these ideas were taking shape in his mind in the course of his wanderings that Swami Vivekananda heard about the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. He too felt that the Parliament would provide the right forum to present his Master’s message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another reason which prompted Swamiji to go to America was to seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses.
Swamiji, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May 1893.

The Parliament of Religions and After
His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’. After the Parliament, Swamiji spent nearly three and a half years spreading Vedanta as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna, mostly in the eastern parts of USA and also in London.

Awakening His Countrymen
He returned to India in January 1897. In response to the enthusiastic welcome that he received everywhere, he delivered a series of lectures in different parts of India, which created a great stir all over the country. Through these inspiring and profoundly significant lectures Swamiji attempted to do the following:

 to rouse the religious consciousness of the people and create in them pride in their cultural heritage;
 to bring about unification of Hinduism by pointing out the common bases of its sects;
 to focus the attention of educated people on the plight of the downtrodden masses, and to expound his plan for their uplift by the application of the principles of Practical Vedanta.

Founding of Ramakrishna Mission
Soon after his return to Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda accomplished another important task of his mission on earth. He founded on1 May 1897 a unique type of organization known as Ramakrishna Mission, in which monks and lay people would jointly undertake propagation of Practical Vedanta, and various forms of social service, such as running hospitals, schools, colleges, hostels, rural development centres etc, and conducting massive relief and rehabilitation work for victims of earthquakes, cyclones and other calamities, in different parts of India and other countries.

Belur Math
In early 1898 Swami Vivekananda acquired a big plot of land on the western bank of the Ganga at a place called Belur to have a permanent abode for the monastery and monastic Order originally started at Baranagar, and got it registered as Ramakrishna Math after a couple of years. Here Swamiji established a new, universal pattern of monastic life which adapts ancient monastic ideals to the conditions of modern life, which gives equal importance to personal illumination and social service, and which is open to all men without any distinction of religion, race or caste.

Disciples
It may be mentioned here that in the West many people were influenced by Swami Vivekananda’s life and message. Some of them became his disciples or devoted friends. Among them the names of Margaret Noble (later known as Sister Nivedita),Captain and Mrs Sevier, Josephine McLeod and Sara Ole Bull, deserve special mention. Nivedita dedicated her life to educating girls in Kolkata. Swamiji had many Indian disciples also, some of whom joined Ramakrishna Math and became sannyasins.

Last Days
In June 1899 he went to the West on a second visit. This time he spent most of his time in the West coast of USA. After delivering many lectures there, he returned to Belur Math in December 1900. The rest of his life was spent in India, inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay. Incessant work, especially giving lectures and inspiring people, told upon Swamiji’s health. His health deteriorated and the end came quietly on the night of 4 July 1902. Before his Mahasamadhi he had written to a Western follower: “It may be that I shall find it good to get outside my body, to cast it off like a worn out garment. But I shall not cease to work. I shall inspire men everywhere until the whole world shall know that it is one with God.”

 Chronology of Main Events related to Swami Vivekananda
1863 January 12 Birth in Kolkata
1879 Enters Presidency College
1880 Transfers to General Assembly Institution
1881 November First meeting with Sri Ramakrishna
1882-1886 Association with Sri Ramakrishna
1884 Passes B. A. Examination
Father passes away
1885 Sri Ramakrishna’s last illness
1886 August 16 Sri Ramakrishna passes away
Fall Establishes Baranagar Math
December 24 Informal vow of sannyasa at Antpur
1887 January Formal vows of sannyasa at Baranagar Monastery
1890-1893 Travels all over India as itinerant monk
1892 December 24 At Kanyakumari, South India
1893 February 13 First public lecture, Secunderabad, South India
May 31 Sails for America from Mumbai
July 25 Lands at Vancouver, Canada
July 30 Arrives in Chicago
August Meets Professor John Ft. Wright of Harvard University
September 11 First address at Parliament of Religions, Chicago
September 27 Final address at Parliament of Religions
November 20 Begins mid-western lecture tour
1894 April 14 Begins lectures and classes on East Coast
May 16 Speaks at Harvard University
July-August At Green Acre Religious Conference
November Founds Vedanta Society of New York
1895 January Begins classes in New York
June 4-18 At Camp Percy, New Hampshire
June-August At Thousand Island Park on St. Lawrence river, N.Y.
August-September In Paris
October-November Lectures in London
December 6 Sails for New York
1896 March 22-25 Speaks at Harvard University, offered Eastern Philosophy chair
April 15 Returns to London
May-July Gives classes in London
May 28 Meets Max Muller in Oxford
August-September In the Europe for six weeks
October-November Gives classes in London
December 30 Leaves Naples for India
1897 January 15 Arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka
February 6-15 In Chennai
February 19 Arrives in Kolkata
May 1 Establishes Ramakrishna Mission Association, Kolkata
May-December Tours northwest India
1898 January Returns to Kolkata
May Begins North India pilgrimage with Western devotees
August 2 At Amarnath, Kashmir
December 9 Consecrates Belur Math
1899 March 19 Establishes Advaita Ashrama at Mayavati
June 20 Leaves India for second visit to the West
July 31 Arrives in London
August 28 Arrives in New York City
August-November At Ridgely Manor, New York
December 3 Arrives in Los Angeles
1900 February 22 Arrives in San Francisco
April 14 Founds Vedanta Society in San Francisco
June Final classes in New York City
July 26 Leaves for Europe
August 3 Arrives in Paris for International Exposition
September 7 Speaks at Congress of History of Religions at Exposition
October 24 Begins tour of Vienna, Constantinople, Greece and Cairo
November 26 Leaves for India
December 9 Arrives at Belur Math
1901 January Visits Mayavati
March-May Pilgrimage in East Bengal and Assam
1902 January-February Visits Bodh Gaya and Varanasi
March Returns to Belur Math
July 4 Mahasamadhi
Vivekananda’s contributions to World Culture

Making an objective assessment of Swami Vivekananda’s contributions to world culture, the eminent British historian A L Basham stated that “in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world…” Some of the main contributions that Swamiji made to the modern world are mentioned below:

1. New Understanding of Religion: One of the most significant contributions of Swami Vivekananda to the modern world is his interpretation of religion as a universal experience of transcendent Reality, common to all humanity. Swamiji met the challenge of modern science by showing that religion is as scientific as science itself; religion is the ‘science of consciousness’. As such, religion and science are not contradictory to each other but are complementary.
This universal conception frees religion from the hold of superstitions, dogmatism, priestcraft and intolerance, and makes religion the highest and noblest pursuit – the pursuit of supreme Freedom, supreme Knowledge, supreme Happiness.

2. New View of Man: Vivekananda’s concept of ‘potential divinity of the soul’ gives a new, ennobling concept of man. The present age is the age of humanism which holds that man should be the chief concern and centre of all activities and thinking. Through science and technology man has attained great prosperity and power, and modern methods of communication and travel have converted human society into a ‘global village’. But the degradation of man has also been going on apace, as witnessed by the enormous increase in broken homes, immorality, violence, crime, etc. in modern society. Vivekananda’s concept of potential divinity of the soul prevents this degradation, divinizes human relationships, and makes life meaningful and worth living. Swamiji has laid the foundation for ‘spiritual humanism’, which is manifesting itself through several neo-humanistic movements and the current interest in meditation, Zen etc all over the world.

3. New Principle of Morality and Ethics: The prevalent morality, in both individual life and social life, is mostly based on fear – fear of the police, fear of public ridicule, fear of God’s punishment, fear of Karma, and so on. The current theories of ethics also do not explain why a person should be moral and be good to others. Vivekananda has given a new theory of ethics and new principle of morality based on the intrinsic purity and oneness of the Atman. We should be pure because purity is our real nature, our true divine Self or Atman. Similarly, we should love and serve our neighbours because we are all one in the Supreme Spirit known as Paramatman or Brahman.

4. Bridge between the East and the West: Another great contribution of Swami Vivekananda was to build a bridge between Indian culture and Western culture. He did it by interpreting Hindu scriptures and philosophy and the Hindu way of life and institutions to the Western people in an idiom which they could understand. He made the Western people realize that they had to learn much from Indian spirituality for their own well-being. He showed that, in spite of her poverty and backwardness, India had a great contribution to make to world culture. In this way he was instrumental in ending India’s cultural isolation from the rest of the world. He was India’s first great cultural ambassador to the West.
On the other hand, Swamiji’s interpretation of ancient Hindu scriptures, philosophy, institutions, etc prepared the mind of Indians to accept and apply in practical life two best elements of Western culture, namely science and technology and humanism. Swamiji has taught Indians how to master Western science and technology and at the same time develop spiritually. Swamiji has also taught Indians how to adapt Western humanism (especially the ideas of individual freedom, social equality and justice and respect for women) to Indian ethos.

Swamiji’s Contributions to India
In spite of her innumerable linguistic, ethnic, historical and regional diversities, India has had from time immemorial a strong sense of cultural unity. It was, however, Swami Vivekananda who revealed the true foundations of this culture and thus clearly defined and strengthened the sense of unity as a nation.
Swamiji gave Indians proper understanding of their country’s great spiritual heritage and thus gave them pride in their past. Furthermore, he pointed out to Indians the drawbacks of Western culture and the need for India’s contribution to overcome these drawbacks. In this way Swamiji made India a nation with a global mission.
Sense of unity, pride in the past, sense of mission – these were the factors which gave real strength and purpose to India’s nationalist movement. Several eminent leaders of India’s freedom movement have acknowledged their indebtedness to Swamiji. Free India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wrote: “Rooted in the past, full of pride in India’s prestige, Vivekananda was yet modern in his approach to life’s problems, and was a kind of bridge between the past of India and her present … he came as a tonic to the depressed and demoralized Hindu mind and gave it self-reliance and some roots in the past.” Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose wrote: “Swamiji harmonized the East and the West, religion and science, past and present. And that is why he is great. Our countrymen have gained unprecedented self-respect, self-reliance and self-assertion from his teachings.”
Swamiji’s most unique contribution to the creation of new India was to open the minds of Indians to their duty to the downtrodden masses. Long before the ideas of Karl Marx were known in India, Swamiji spoke about the role of the labouring classes in the production of the country’s wealth. Swamiji was the first religious leader in India to speak for the masses, formulate a definite philosophy of service, and organize large-scale social service.
Swamiji’s Contributions to Hinduism

1. Identity: It was Swami Vivekananda who gave to Hinduism as a whole a clear-cut identity, a distinct profile. Before Swamiji came Hinduism was a loose confederation of many different sects. Swamiji was the first religious leader to speak about the common bases of Hinduism and the common ground of all sects. He was the first person, as guided by his Master Sri Ramakrishna, to accept all Hindu doctrines and the views of all Hindu philosophers and sects as different aspects of one total view of Reality and way of life known as Hinduism. Speaking about Swamiji’s role in giving Hinduism its distinct identity, Sister Nivedita wrote: “… it may be said that when he began to speak it was of ‘the religious ideas of the Hindus’, but when he ended, Hinduism had been created.”

2.Unification: Before Swamiji came, there was a lot of quarrel and competition among the various sects of Hinduism. Similarly, the protagonists of different systems and schools of philosophy were claiming their views to be the only true and valid ones. By applying Sri Ramakrishna’s doctrine of Harmony (Samanvaya) Swamiji brought about an overall unification of Hinduism on the basis of the principle of unity in diversity. Speaking about Swamiji’s role in this field K M Pannikar, the eminent historian and diplomat, wrote: “This new Shankaracharya may well be claimed to be a unifier of Hindu ideology.”

3. Defence: Another important service rendered by Swamiji was to raise his voice in defence of Hinduism. In fact, this was one of the main types of work he did in the West. Christian missionary propaganda had given a wrong understanding of Hinduism and India in Western minds. Swamiji had to face a lot of opposition in his attempts to defend Hinduism.

4. Meeting the Challenges: At the end of the 19th century, India in general, and Hinduism in particular, faced grave challenges from Western materialistic life, the ideas of Western free society, and the proselytizing activities of Christians. Vivekananda met these challenges by integrating the best elements of Western culture in Hindu culture.

5. New Ideal of Monasticism: A major contribution of Vivekananda to Hinduism is the rejuvenation and modernization of monasticism. In this new monastic ideal, followed in the Ramakrishna Order, the ancient principles of renunciation and God realization are combined with service to God in man (Shiva jnane jiva seva). Vivekananda elevated social service to the status of divine service.

6. Refurbishing of Hindu Philosophy and Religious Doctrines: Vivekananda did not merely interpret ancient Hindu scriptures and philosophical ideas in terms of modern thought. He also added several illuminating original concepts based on his own transcendental experiences and vision of the future. This, however, needs a detailed study of Hindu philosophy which cannot be attempted here.

 
Selected Teachings of Swami Vivekananda:

 My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is: to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.

 Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.

 We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.

 So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them.

 Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.

 If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty millions of your mythological gods, … and still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you. Have faith in yourselves, and stand up on that faith and be strong; that is what we need.

 Strength, strength it is that we want so much in this life, for what we call sin and sorrow have all one cause, and that is our weakness. With weakness comes ignorance, and with ignorance comes misery.

 The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new Gospel.

 Purity, patience, and perseverance are the three essentials to success, and above all, love.

 Religion is realization; not talk, not doctrine, nor theories, however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing or acknowledging; it is the whole soul becoming changed into what it believes.

 Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man.

 Teach yourselves, teach everyone his real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come when this sleeping soul is roused to self-conscious activity.

 They alone live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.

 This is the gist of all worship – to be pure and to do good to others.

 It is love and love alone that I preach, and I base my teaching on the great Vedantic truth of the sameness and omnipresence of the Soul of the Universe.

Recommended for further reading:

1. Eastern and Western Disciples, Life of Swami Vivekananda, Two Volumes. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama, www.advaitaashrama.org
2. The Complete  Works of Swami  Vivekananda, Nine Volumes. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama
3.  Romain Rolland, The Life of Vivekananda, tr. E.K. Malcolm Smith. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama.
4. Teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama

Souce : http://www.belurmath.org/swamivivekananda.htm

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Sri Maa Sarada Devi http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/26/sri-maa-sarada-devi/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:31:19 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=45

Endearingly known as ‘Holy Mother’, Sri Sarada Devi, the spiritual consort of Sri Ramakrishna, was born on 22 December 1853 in a poor Brahmin family in Jayrambati, a village adjoining Kamarpukur in West Bengal. Her father,Ramachandra Mukhopadhyay, was a pious and kind-hearted person, and her mother, Shyama Sundari Devi, was a loving and hard-working woman.

Marriage
As a child Sarada was devoted to God, and spent most of her time helping her mother in various household chores like caring for younger children, looking after cattle and carrying food to her father and others engaged in work in the field. She had no formal schooling, but managed to learn the Bengali alphabet. When she was about six years old, she was married to Sri Ramakrishna, according to the custom prevalent in India in those days. However, after the event, she continued to live with her parents, while Sri Ramakrishna lived a God-intoxicated life at Dakshineshwar.

Visit to Dakshineshwar
At the age of eighteen she walked all the way to Dakshineshwar to meet her husband. Sri Ramakrishna, who had immersed himself in the intense practice of several spiritual disciplines for more than twelve years, had reached the highest state of realization in which he saw God in all beings. He received Sarada Devi with great affection, and allowed her to stay with him. He taught her how to lead a spiritual life while discharging her household duties. They led absolutely pure lives, and Sarada Devi served Sri Ramakrishna as his devoted wife and disciple, while remaining a virgin nun and following the spiritual path.

Life at Dakshineshwar
Sri Ramakrishna looked upon Sarada Devi as a special manifestation of Divine Mother of the universe. In 1872, on the night of the Phala-harini-Kali-puja, he ritualistically worshipped Sarada Devi as the Divine Mother, thereby awakening universal Motherhood latent in her. When disciples began to gather around Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi learned to look upon them as her own children. The room in which she stayed at Dakshineshwar was too small to live in and had hardly any amenities; and on many days she did not get the opportunity of meeting Sri Ramakrishna. But she bore all difficulties silently and lived in contentment and peace, serving the increasing number of devotees who came to see Sri Ramakrishna.

Leading the Sangha after the Master’s Passing
After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away in 1886, Sarada Devi spent some months in pilgrimage, and then went to Kamarpukur where she lived in great privation. Coming to know of this, the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna brought her to Kolkata. This marked a turning point in her life. She now began to accept spiritual seekers as her disciples, and became the open portal to immortality for hundreds of people. Her great universal mother-heart, endowed with boundless love and compassion, embraced all people without any distinction, including many who had lived sinful lives.

When the Western women disciples of Swami Vivekananda came to Kolkata, the Holy Mother accepted them with open arms as her daughters, ignoring the restrictions of the orthodox society of those days. Although she had grown up in a conservative rural society without any access to modern education, she held progressive views, and whole-heartedly supported Swami Vivekananda in his plans for rejuvenation of India and the uplift of the masses and women. She was closely associated with the school for girls started by Sister Nivedita.

She spent her life partly in Kolkata and partly in her native village Jayrambati. During the early years of her stay in Kolkata, her needs were looked after by Swami Yogananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. In later years her needs were looked after by another disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Saradananda, who built a new house for her in Kolkata.

Simplicity and Forbearance
Although she was highly venerated for her spiritual status, and literally worshipped as the Divine Mother, she continued to live like a simple village mother, washing clothes, sweeping the floor, bringing water from the pond, dressing vegetables, cooking and serving food. At Jayrambati she lived with her brothers and their families. They gave her endless troubles but, established as she was in the awareness of God and in Divine Motherhood, she always remained calm and self-possessed, showering love and blessings on all who came into contact with her. As Sister Nivedita stated, “Her life was one long stillness of prayer.”

Mother of All
In the history of humanity there has never been another woman who looked upon herself as the Mother of all beings, including animals and birds, and spent her whole life in serving them as her children, undergoing unending sacrifice and self-denial. About her role in the mission of Sri Ramakrishna on earth, she stated: “My son, you know the Master had a maternal attitude (matri-bhava) towards every one. He has left me behind to manifest that Divine Motherhood in the world.”

Ideal Woman
On account of her immaculate purity, extraordinary forbearance, selfless service, unconditional love, wisdom and spiritual illumination, Swami Vivekananda regarded Sri Sarada Devi as the ideal for women in the modern age. He believed that with the advent of Holy Mother, the spiritual awakening of women in modern times had begun.

Last Days
Under the strain of constant physical work and self-denial and repeated attacks of malaria, her health deteriorated in the closing years of her life, and she left the mortal world on 21 July 1920.

Chronology of Main Events related to Sri Maa Sarada Devi’s Life
Year Event
1853 December 22 Birth
1859 May Marriage and first visit to Kamarpukur
1860 December Second visit to Kamarpukur
1866 May (?) Third visit to Kamarpukur
1866 December – 1867 January Fourth visit to Kamarpukur
1867 May – November Fifth visit to Kamarpukur
1872 March (?) First visit to Dakshineshwar
1872 June 5 Shodashi-puja
1873 Middle At Jayrambati
1874 March 26 Death of her father
1874 Middle Second visit to Dakshineshwar
1875 September At Jayrambati
1875 Severe attack of dysentery and awakening of Simhavahini
1875 November Commencement of Jagaddhatri worship
1876 February 27 Death of her mother-in-law, Chandramani Devi
1876 April Shambhu Babu’s donation of a house
1877 January Third visit to Dakshineshwar (Meeting with robbers at Telo-bhelo)
1881 February or March Fourth Visit to Dakshineshwar
1882 February Fifth visit to Dakshineshwar
1884 Sixth visit to Dakshineshwar
1885 March Seventh visit to Dakshineshwar
1885 October With Sri Ramakrishna at Shyampukur
1885 December 11 With Sri Ramakrishna at Cossipore
During this period Vow of fast at Tarakeshwar
1886 August 16 Passing away of Sri Ramakrishna
1886 August 30 First pilgrimage to North India (mainly Vrindavan)
1887 from September At Kamarpukur (for about nine months)
1888 up to October At Nilambar Mukherjee’s garden-house (Belur)
1888 from November At Puri
1889 from February At Kamarpukur
1890 March 25 Pilgrimage to Gaya
1890 October At Jayrambati
1893 At Nilambar Babu’s garden-house
1895 Second pilgrimage to Vrindavan
1904-05 Second pilgrimage to Puri
1906 end of January Death of Shyamasundani Devi, mother of Sri Sarada Devi
1907 October Durga worship at Girish’s house
1909 May 23 First visit to the ‘Udbodhan’
1910 December At Kothar in Orissa
1911 February-March In the South
1911 June 10 Marriage of Radhu, niece of Sri Sarada Devi
1912 October 16-21 Durga worship at Belur
1912 November 5 –January 15 At Varanasi
1915 August – September At Koalpara
1916 May 15 In the new house at Jayrambati
1916 October 3-6 Durga worship at Belur
1920 July 21 Mahasamadhi
 Some Saying of Holy Mother:

God is one’s very own. It is an eternal relationship.

Ordinary human love results in misery. Love for God brings blessedness.

One who makes a habit of prayer will easily overcome all difficulties.

As wind removes the cloud, so the Name of God destroys the cloud of worldliness.

My child, you have been extremely fortunate in getting this human birth. Have intense devotion to God. One must work hard. Can one achieve anything without effort? You must devote some time for prayer even in the midst of the busiest hours of the day.
Do the Master’s work, and along with that practise spiritual disciplines too. Work helps one to keep off idle thoughts. If one is without work, such thoughts rush into one’s mind.

One must perform work. It is only through work that the bondage of work will be cut asunder and one will acquire a spirit of non-attachment.

One should always discriminate and strive hard for the realization of God.

Even water, which has a natural tendency to flow downwards, is drawn up to the sky by the sun’s rays. In the same way, God’s grace lifts up the mind which has got a tendency to run after sense objects.

Through spiritual disciplines the ties of past karma are cut asunder. But the realization of God cannot be achieved without ecstatic love for him.

It is idle to expect that dangers and difficulties will not come. They are bound to come. But for a devotee they will pass away under the feet like water.

Can you call a person who is devoid of compassion a human being? He is a veritable beast.

I tell you one thing – if you want peace, do not find fault with others. Rather see your own faults. Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child; the whole world is your own.

When a man sees defects in others, his own mind first gets polluted. What does he gain by finding faults in others? He only hurts himself by that.

All teachers are one. The same power of God works through them all.

I am your true mother, a mother not by virtue of being your guru’s wife, nor by way of empty talk, but truly the mother.

I am the mother of the virtuous as well as the wicked.

If my son wallows in the dust or mud, it is I who have to wipe all the dirt and take him on my lap.

My son, if a thorn pricks your foot, it hurts me like a spear entering my heart. Never fear, and whenever you are in distress just say to yourself, “I have a mother”

 Recommended for further reading:
1. Swami Gambhirananda, Sri Maa Sarada DevI
2. The Gospel of Holy Mother

Souce : http://www.belurmath.org/srisaradadevi.htm

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Sri Ramakrishna http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/26/sri-ramakrishna/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 07:31:02 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=43
Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 in the village ofKamarpukur about sixty miles northwest of Kolkata. His parents,Kshudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandramani Devi, were poor but very pious and virtuous. As a child, Ramakrishna (his childhood name wasGadadhar) was dearly loved by the villagers. From early days, he was disinclined towards formal education and worldly affairs. He was, however, a talented boy, and could sing and paint well. He was fond of serving holy men and listening to their discourses. He was also very often found to be absorbed in spiritual moods. At the age of six, he experienced the first ecstasy while watching a flight of white cranes moving against the background of black clouds. This tendency to enter into ecstasy intensified with age. His father’s death when he was seven years old served only to deepen his introspection and increase his detachment from the world.
As a Priest at Dakshineswar TempleSri Ramakrishna
When Sri Ramakrishna was sixteen, his brother Ramkumar took him to Kolkata to assist him in his priestly profession. In 1855 the Kali Temple atDakshineswar built by Rani Rasmani was consecrated and Ramkumar became the chief priest in that temple. When he died a few months later, Ramakrishna was appointed the priest. Ramakrishna developed intense devotion to Mother Kali and spent hours in loving adoration of her image, forgetting the rituals of priestly duties. His intense longing culminated in the vision of Mother Kali as boundless effulgence engulfing everything around him.Intense Spiritual Practices
Sri Ramakrishna’s God-intoxicated state alarmed his relatives in Kamarpukur and they got him married to Saradamani, a girl from the neighbouring village of Jayrambati. Unaffected by the marriage, Sri Ramakrishna plunged into even more intense spiritual practices. Impelled by a strong inner urge to experience different aspects of God he followed, with the help of a series of Gurus, the various paths described in the Hindu scriptures, and realized God through each of them. The first teacher to appear at Dakshineswar (in 1861) was a remarkable woman known as Bhairavi Brahmani who was an advanced spiritual adept, well versed in scriptures. With her help Sri Ramakrishna practised various difficult disciplines of the Tantrik path, and attained success in all of them. Three years later came a wandering monk by nameTotapuri, under whose guidance Sri Ramakrishna attained Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the highest spiritual experience mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. He remained in that state of non-dual existence for six months without the least awareness of even his own body. In this way, Sri Ramakrishna relived the entire range of spiritual experiences of more than three thousand years of Hindu religion.
Following Other Faiths
With his unquenchable thirst for God, Sri Ramakrishna broke the frontiers of Hinduism, glided through the paths of Islam and Christianity, and attained the highest realization through each of them in a short span of time. He looked upon Jesus and Buddha as incarnations of God, and venerated the ten Sikh Gurus. He expressed the quintessence of his twelve-year-long spiritual realizations in a simple dictum: Yato mat, tato pathAs many faiths, so many paths.” He now habitually lived in an exalted state of consciousness in which he saw God in all beings.Worshipping His Wife
In 1872, his wife Sarada, now nineteen years old, came from the village to meet him. He received her cordially, and taught her how to attend to household duties and at the same time lead an intensely spiritual life. One night he worshipped her as the Divine Mother in his room at the Dakshineswar temple. Although Sarada continued to stay with him, they lived immaculately pure lives, and their marital relationship was purely spiritual. It should be mentioned here that Sri Ramakrishna had been ordained a Sannyasin (Hindu monk), and he observed the basic vows of a monk to perfection. But outwardly he lived like a lay man, humble, loving and with childlike simplicity. During Sri Ramakrishna’s stay at Dakshineswar, Rani Rasmani first acted as his patron. After her death, her son-in-law Mathur Nath Biswas took care of his needs.Contact with Some Notables
Sri Ramakrishna’s name as an illumined saint began to spread. Mathur once convened an assembly of scholars, and they declared him to be not an ordinary human being but the Avatar of the Modern Age. In those days the socio-religious movement known asBrahmo Samaj, founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, was at the height of popularity in Bengal. Sri Ramakrishna came into contact with several leaders and members of Brahmo Samaj and exerted much influence on them. His teaching on harmony of religions attracted people belonging to different denominations, and Dakshineswar became a veritable Parliament of Religions.Coming of the Devotees
As bees swarm around a fully blossomed flower, devotees now started coming to Sri Ramakrishna. He divided them into two categories. The first one consisted of householders. He taught them how to realize God while living in the world and discharging their family duties. The other more important category was a band of educated youths, mostly from the middle class families of Bengal, whom he trained to become monks and to be the torchbearers of his message to mankind. The foremost among them was Narendranath, who years later, as Swami Vivekananda, carried the universal message of Vedanta to different parts of the world, revitalized Hinduism, and awakened the soul of India.The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna did not write any book, nor did he deliver public lectures. Instead, he chose to speak in a simple language using parables and metaphors by way of illustration, drawn from the observation of nature and ordinary things of daily use. His conversations were charming and attracted the cultural elite of Bengal. These conversations were noted down by his disciple Mahendranath Gupta who published them in the form of a book, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita in Bengali. Its English rendering, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, was released in 1942; it continues to be increasingly popular to this day on account of its universal appeal and relevance.

Last Days
The intensity of his spiritual life and untiring spiritual ministration to the endless stream of seekers told on Sri Ramakrishna’s health. He developed cancer of the throat in 1885. He was shifted to a spacious suburban villa where his young disciples nursed him day and night. He instilled in them love for one another, and thus laid the foundation for the future monastic brotherhood known as Ramakrishna Math. In the small hours of 16 August 1886 Sri Ramakrishna gave up his physical body, uttering the name of the Divine Mother, and passed into Eternity.

Chronology of Main Events related to Sri Ramakrishna’s Life
Year Event
1775 Birth of Kshudiram, Sri Ramakrishna’s father.
1791 Birth of Chandra Devi, Sri Ramakrishna’s mother.
1805 Birth of Ramkumar, Sri Ramakrishna’s eldest brother.
1814 Kshudiram settles at Kamarpukur, Sri Ramakrishna’s birthplace.
1826 Birth of Rameshwar, Sri Ramakrishna’s elder brother.
1835 Kshudiram’s pilgrimage to Gaya.
1836 Birth of Sri Ramakrishna, known in boyhood as Gadadhar, February 18, about 5:15 a.m.
1842 or 1843 First trance of Gadadhar at the sight of white birds and dark clouds.
1843 Death of Kshudiram.
1845 Gadadhar’s sacred thread ceremony.
1850 Ramkumar opens his school in Kolkata.
1852 Gadadhar comes to Kolkata.
1853 Birth of the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, December 22.
1855 Dakshineshwar Kali temple founded. Ramkumar became priest of Kali Temple.  Gadadhar, known as Sri Ramakrishna, took over the dressing and decorating of the Divine Mother.  Hriday, nephew of Sri Ramakrishna, assisted Ramkumar and Sri Ramakrishna.  Sri Ramakrishna appointed first priest of the Vishnu temple and then of the Kali temple.  Ramkumar appointed priest of the Vishnu temple.
1856 Death of Ramkumar.  Sri Ramakrishna’s first vision of Mother Kali as ocean of Light.
1857 Sri Ramakrishna remains mostly in a God-intoxicated state.  His treatment under Ganga Prasad Sen.
1858 Haladhari, Sri Ramakrishna’s cousin, appointed priest at Dakshineshwar. Sri Ramakrishna goes to Kamarpukur.
1859 Sri Ramakrishna’s marriage.  Stays at Kamarpukur for 1½ years.
1860 Return to Dakshineshwar.  Mathur’s vision of Sri Ramakrishna as Shiva and Kali.
1861 Death of Rani Rasmani. Meeting with Bhairavi Brahmani. Tantra practice under the Brahmani starts.
1863 Completion of Tantra practice. Chandra Devi comes to live at Dakshineshwar.
1864 Sri Ramakrishna’s practice of vatsalya bhava under Jatadhari. Practice of madhur bhava.  Initiation into sannyasa by Totapuri.
1865 Akshay, Sri Ramakrishna’s nephew, replaces Haladhari. Totapuri leaves Dakshineshwar.
1866 Sri Ramakrishna in the Advaita plane for six months. Practice of Islam.
1867 Sri Ramakrishna at Kamarpukur.  Brahmani bids farewell.
1868 Pilgrimage with Mathur to Deoghar, Varanasi, Allahabad and Vrindaban. Meeting with Ganga Ma, a Vaishnava woman devotee.
1870 Visit with Mathur to eastern parts of Bengal including Kalna and Navadvip. Meeting with Bhagavandas Babaji at the Colootola Harisabha.
1871 Death of Mathur.
1872 The Holy Mother’s first visit to Dakshineshwar. The Shodashi Puja.
1873 Death of Rameshwar, elder brother of Sri Ramakrishna.
1874 The Holy Mother’s second visit to Dakshineshwar.  Sri Ramakrishna’s practice of Christianity, and vision of Christ.
1875 Sri Ramakrishna’s first visit to Keshab Chandra Sen.
1876 Death of Chandra Devi.
1877 Death of Shambhu Mallick.  The Holy Mother’s third visit to Dakshineshwar.
1878 Close contact with Keshab and the Brahmos.
1879 Coming of disciples begins.  Ramachandra Datta and Manomohan Mitra come to the Master.
1880 Surendra Nath Mitra comes to the Master.
Sri Ramakrishna’s last visit to Kamarpukur.
1881 Dismissal of Hriday.  Rakhal (later Swami Brahmananda), Narendra (later Swami Vivekananda) and Balaram Bose come to the Master.
1882 M. (Mahendra Nath Gupta) and Baburam (later Swami Premananda) come to the Master.  Visit to Pundit Vidyasagar. The Holy Mother again at Dakshineswar.
1883 Adhar, Shashi (later Swami Ramakrishnananda) and Sarat (later Swami Saradananda) come to the Master.
1884 Kalipada and Kaliprasad (later Swami Abhedananda) come to the Master. Death of Keshab. Meeting with Pundit Shashadhar. Gopal’s Ma and Nag Mahashay come.
1885 The Holy Mother comes to live at Dakshineswar for the last time. The “inner circle” of disciples becomes complete with the coming of Purna.  Last visit to Panihati.  Illness and removal to Shyampukur.  Association with Dr. Sarkar.  Removal to Cossipore.
1886 Treatment at Cossipore.  Organization of disciples.  Mahasamadhi on 16 August, at two minutes past 1 a.m.
Message of Sri Ramakrishna

The message of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world, which he gave through his life and through his recorded conversations, may be briefly stated as follows:

The goal of human life is the realization of the Ultimate Reality which alone can give man supreme fulfilment and everlasting peace. This is the essence of all religions.

The Ultimate Reality is one; but it is personal as well as impersonal, and is indicated by different names (such as God, Ishvar, etc) in different religions.

The Ultimate Reality can be realized through various paths taught in world religions. All religions are true in so far as they lead to the same ultimate Goal.

Purity of mind is an essential condition for the attainment of the Ultimate Reality; real purity is freedom from lust and greed. External observances are only of secondary importance.

Through spiritual practices man can overcome his evil tendencies, and divine grace can redeem even the worst sinner. Therefore one should not brood over the past mistakes, but should develop a positive outlook on life by depending on God.

God realization is possible for all. The householders need not renounce the world; but they should pray sincerely, practise discrimination between the Eternal and the temporal and remain unattached. God listens to sincere prayer. Intense longing(vyakulata) is the secret of success in spiritual life.

God dwells in all people but the manifestation of this inner Divinity varies from person to person. In saintly people there is greater manifestation of God. Women are special manifestations of Divine Mother of the Universe, and so are to be treated with respect.

Since God dwells in all people, helping the needy should be done not out of compassion (which is an attitude of condescension) but as humble service to God.

Egoism, caused by ignorance, is the root-cause of all suffering.

Life is an expression of the spontaneous creativity (Lila) of God. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, etc are to be borne with patience, and one should resign oneself to God’s will under all circumstances.

Contributions of Sri Ramakrishna to World Culture
 

1. Spiritual Ideal : One of the important contributions of Sri Ramakrishna is the reestablishment of the ideal of God realization in the modern world. In a world in which people’s faith in traditional religions has been considerably reduced by the relentless attack of the forces of atheism, materialism and scientific thinking, Sri Ramakrishna established the possibility of having direct experience of transcendent Reality. His life has enabled thousands of people to gain or regain faith in God and in the eternal verities of religion. As Mahatma Gandhi has stated: “His (Ramakrishna’s) life enables us to see God face to face. No one can read the story of his life without being convinced that God alone is real and that all else is an illusion.”

2. Harmony of Religions: Sri Ramakrishna, however, is more well known all over the world as the Prophet of Harmony of Religions. He did not say that all the religions are the same. He recognized differences among religions but showed that, in spite of these differences, all religions lead to the same ultimate goal, and hence they are all valid and true. This view is nowadays known as “Pluralism”: Sri Ramakrishna is its primary originator. The uniqueness of Sri Ramakrishna’s view is that it was based, not on speculation, but on direct experience gained through actual practice. Since conflicts among religions and the rise of religious fundamentalism are a major threat to the peace, prosperity and progress of humanity, Sri Ramakrishna’s doctrine of harmony of religions has immense importance in the modern world. Regarding this, the distinguished British historian Arnold Toynbee has written: “… Mahatma Gandhi’s principle of non-violence and Sri Ramakrishna’s testimony to the harmony of religions: here we have the attitude and the spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family – and in the Atomic Age, this is the only alternative to destroying ourselves.”

3. Bridge between the ancient and the modern: Sri Ramakrishna is the real link between the ancient and the modern. He showed how the ancient ideals and experiences could be realized even while following the normal modern way of life.

4. Boost to moral life: Sri Ramakrishna’s emphasis on truthfulness and renunciation of lust and greed has given a great boost to moral life in modern times. He also cleansed religious life of immoral practices, external pomp, miracle mongering, etc.

5. Divinization of love: Sri Ramakrishna elevated love from the level of emotions to the level of the unity of all Selves in God. Although the principle of oneness of the Supreme Self and its immanence in all beings is a central point in the Upanishads, it was seldom applied in practical life. Sri Ramakrishna saw the Divine in his wife, in his disciples, in others, even in fallen women, and treated them all with respect. The famous dictum of the New Testament, “God is Love”, found its verification in Sri Ramakrishna. Divinization of love and human relationships is another contribution of Sri Ramakrishna which has immense significance for the welfare of humanity.

 

Some sayings of Sri Ramakrishna:

He is born in vain who, having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realize God in this very life.

You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man, because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.

One cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three – shame, hatred, and fear.

Be not a traitor in your thoughts. Be sincere; act according to your thoughts; and you shall surely succeed. Pray with a sincere and simple heart, and your prayers will be heard.

Do not let worldly thoughts and anxieties disturb your mind. Do everything that is necessary in the proper time, and let your mind be always fixed on God.

You should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart of the devotee. The heart of the devotee is the drawing room of God.

Pure knowledge and pure love are one and the same thing. Both lead the aspirants to the same goal. The path of love is much easier.

Who is the best devotee of God? It is he who sees, after the realization of Brahman that God alone has become all living beings, the universe, and the twenty-four cosmic principles. One must discriminate at first, saying ‘Not this, not this’, and reach the roof. After that one realizes that the steps are made of the same materials as the roof, namely, brick, lime, and brick-dust. The devotee realizes that it is Brahman alone that has become all these — the living beings, the universe, and so on.

Live in the world like a waterfowl. The water clings to the bird, but the bird shakes it off. Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud, but its skin is always bright and shiny.

I tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct your mind toward God; otherwise you will not succeed. Do your duty with one hand and with the other hold to God. After the duty is over you will hold to God with both hands.

The breeze of His grace is blowing day and night over your head. Unfurl the sails of your boat (mind), if you want to make rapid progress through the ocean of life.

One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. The practice of yoga is not possible in this age, for the life of a man depends on food. Clap your hands while repeating God’s name, and the birds of your sins will fly away.

Recommended for further reading:

1. Mahendranath Gupta (M), The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, tr. Swami Nikhilananda, Two volumes. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math
2. Swami Saradananda, Sri Ramakrishna: The Great Master, tr. Swami Jagadananda, Two volumes. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math
3. Life of Sri Ramakrishna. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama
4. Christopher Isherwood, Ramakrishna and His disciples. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama
5. Romain Rolland, The Life of Ramakrishna, tr. E. K. Malcolm Smith. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Online
Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita Online
(The Gospel in Bengali)

Source : http://www.belurmath.org/sriramakrishna.htm

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Donations http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/21/donations/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:44:48 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=14 concept: giving money to a growing pool of donations

Ramakrishna Math, Ootacamund – 643 001 is branch center of Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, Howrah, West Bengal.  The Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission provide opportunities for the public to cooperate with the twin organizations in carrying out various types of work chalked out by Swami Vivekananda for serving humanity. This cooperation may consist in active participation in the activities of the Mission, or in the contribution to the different Funds of the Math and the Mission. Admirers and devotees, who are in sympathy with the objects of the twin organizations but are unable to take part in our activities, are cordially invited to help us by contributing to one or more of the Funds, which need their active support. Donations to the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission are exempt from income tax under Section 80G of the IT Act, 1961.

We appeal you to donate to noble cause by Demand draft or cheque drawn in favour of“Ramakrishna Math, Ootacamund”, payable at Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu, INDIA, and send the same to the address :-

RAMAKRISHNA MATH
Ramakrishnapuram, P.O. Ootacamund – 643 001, Dist. The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu,
Ph: 0423-2443150, E-mail: ooty@rkmm.org, Website : www.rkmooty.org

Or You may remit the amount to our Bank account directly : 
Account Name :  Ramakrishna Math
(Account Type :  Saving Bank)
Bank :  Canara Bank
Branch :  Ootacamund
Account Number :  1234101000126
IFSC/RTGS Code: CNRB0001234

For foreign contribution : 
Ramakrishna Math. (Account Type :  Saving Bank)
State Bank of India, Commissioner Road Branch, Ooty,
Account Number : 10834912108, SBIN0000891
Swift Code :  SBININBB470, Bank phone : 0423 2452390

Please send your full address and others details after contribution.
This is very important for us. Write us at : ooty@rkmm.org
or Contact by phone : Ph: 0423-2443150, 9489480657 

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Contact us http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/21/contact-us/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:44:30 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=12 icon-mail-150x150RAMAKRISHNA MATH
Ramakrishnapuram, P.O. Ootacamund – 643 001,
Dist. The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu,
Ph: 0423-2443150, 9489480657

E-mail: ooty@rkmm.org,
Website : www.rkmooty.org

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About us http://www.rkmooty.org/2016/07/21/about-us/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:41:44 +0000 http://www.rkmooty.org/?p=10 001-Entrance DSC00078Nestled amidst the sylvan surroundings of the Nilgiris, the Ramakrishna Math, Ooty, is one of the oldest centers in South India. It became part of the R.K.Math in 1926, though started in 1924. It was meant to be a Retreat center and had an invaluable library.

Considering the spiritual atmosphere of the place Mahapurush Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, a direct disciple of Sri RamaKrishna, who was recuperating in the Nilgiris after an illness wished to start a center in Ooty. His wish was fulfilled by a Divine act. A so-called untouchable washer man donated 2 acres of land, after having a dream in which his favorite diety Sri Sri Mariamma appeared and said, “Look, some people will approach you for a piece of land on which to build a monastery, give them that land”. He had the dream on 3 consecutive nights. DSC00146He was waiting for them and when he met some people searching for a land to build a monastery he donated it. The person was Sri. Thiruvengadan Pillaiof Kil Kodappamund.

Liberal subscription came from the local devotees and some rich people from Madras, Rajas of different provinces. Work was started by Swami Shivananda himself. The building had a shrine opening into a hall 20’x30’ and two living rooms flanked by a veranda and office, a separate kitchen block. It was surrounded by a beautiful garden, grass banks and trees. The sadhus carried out their spiritual and religious activities and also visited the Badaga Villages and educational institutions.
A very significant and attractive event is the observation of public celebrations of the birthdays of the Holy Trio. It attracts large crowds from all over Nilgiris. The program consists of Puja, bhajan, public meeting, cultural presentation and Annadanam. The event still continDSC00052ues.

The consecration ceremony took place on 24/09/1926. The pictures of the Holy Trio was ceremoniously brought in procession amidst Vedic Chanting from Godavari House to the new building and installed. On that day Swami Yatiswaranandaji and a host of others were present.

Srimath Swami Vijnananandaji, another illustrious disciple of Sri Rama Krishna and 4 th president of the order visited Ooty in 1931.

J.J Goodwin, stenographer by profession to whom we owe much for making available many of Swami Vivekananda’s previous lectures which now form part of Swamiji’s 9 volumes of complete works, came to ooty for rest and recuperation but passed away at the young age of 28 on 02/06/1898. His mortal remains were interred at the St. Thomas church Cemetry, Ooty.

Way back in 23/04/1967, the Ooty Ashrama did him honor by a reverent dedication of his tomb by most Rev. Dr. Lakdasa de Mel, Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. The tomb 10’ high is made of polished grey granite is a conically shaped pillar and marble cross embedded & on the marble tablet the poem Requiescat in pace written by Swami Vivekananda engraved.

Sw. Ranganathanandaji the then secretary presided over the function.

Other activities carried out were

1) During the thirties the Ramakrishna Vijayam was edited for 5 years at Ooty Ashram.
2) A Model Gurukula was started and run for about 4 years in 1947.
3) Religious classes were regularly conducted from 1937 both at the Ashram and at town schools, Coonoor and Staff College Wellington.

4) A monthly retreat – Antaryogam – on last Sundays was started from May 1971 and is still continuing.

5) In 1983 April 25 th a beautiful marble image of Sri Rama Krishna was installed and consecrated in the shrine by most revered Swami Vireshwaranandaji.

6) A new building – the monks’ quarters and extended prayer hall were opened on 26/03/1989 by Rev. Tapasyanandaji.

7) The Golden Jubilee of the Ashrama in 09/1976, the 150 th Birthday of Sri Rama Krishna in 1986 and the Platinum Jubilee of the Ashrama in 2001 were celebrated in a quiet and solemn way.

Present activities:- The ashrama maintains a shrine where nityapuja& evening arati are conducted daily.

On Ekadasi days Ramnam Sankirtan is held. Birthday celebrations of Holy Trio is observed and due solemnity providing pecuniary help and ration doles to the poor and destitute, distribution of educational help to school going children is another activity.

From 1992, medical help to the poor is given during rains and winter, whenever need arises, the ashrama provides distress relief in and around Ooty.

The Ashrama manages in a supervisory capacity the Holy Mother Trust established in 1938 by Sri Vasanandaji, consisting now of about 18 acres of land out of which 3 acres are under tea plantation.

The Ooty Ashrama is maintained by devotees, admirers and sympathisers of the Ramakrishna Ideal, by collections made in town and villages of Nilgiris every year. This is a tradition even to this day.

Many distinguished and venerable monks have visited and blessed the Ashram. Many devotees have been initiated by these realized souls.

  • Most Revered Swami Virajanandaji Maharaj in 1939
  • Most Revered Swami Vireshwaranandaji Maharaj in 1968, 71, 76, 83
  • Most Revered Swami Gambhiranandaji Maharaj in 1970.
  • Most Revered Swami Bhuteshanandaji Maharaj in 1977.
  • Most Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj in 1966, 1991
  • Most Revered Swami Tapasyanandaji Maharaj in 1989.
  • Most Revered Swami Gahananandaji Maharaj
  • Most Revered Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj

The R.K.Math Ooty as a Retreat Centre is trying to fulfil its purpose by awakening spirituality of the people here.

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