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The Advent of Sri Ramakrishna and
His Universal Gospel

Book  stop.gif (845 bytes)  Weekly Message Archive

WEEKLY MESSAGES

In this new feature of our website, we present every week a new selection of the teachings of Vedanta, taken from a variety of sources – lectures and writings of Swami Adiswarananda, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Literature, and other spiritual texts.

 

 

 

 

THE ADVENT OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA

AND HIS UNIVERSAL GOSPEL
 

by

SWAMI ADISWARANANDA

Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center

New York


 

The seers and sages bring to our world the message of truth that they perceive through their unfailing spiritual visions. Yet often the people around them label them abnormal and look upon their visions as absurd. But the message of truth always triumphs over the ignorance and prejudices of people and changes the course of human history.

It is no surprise that Sri Ramakrishna was looked upon by many people of his time as abnormal and insane. The decadent orthodoxy looked upon the spiritual visions of Sri Ramakrishna as profane, while the new reformers regarded him as a mere unlettered temple priest suffering from the maladies of a monomaniac. It is said that if we do not share the insanity of our neighbors, we will be called insane. Sri Ramakrishna’s intense God intoxication appeared excessive even to the many educated people of his time. They had never experienced samadhi, or divine communion, or other subtle realities of the spiritual world. People had long forgotten what a God-centered mind is and how such a mind might see and do things. It was therefore difficult for them to comprehend the depth and breadth of vision of Sri Ramakrishna’s new message of God-consciousness, God realization, and harmony of faiths.

 

To the old believers, God was either with form or without form. If one religion was true, the others had to be false. But Sri Ramakrishna spoke in a different vein. God, to him, was both with form and formless at the same time. He saw all religions as equally true. He could not remain confined to any sect. Controversy and endless argumentation between sects or faiths had no place in the view of Sri Ramakrishna. God is one, and his unity is never limited. Immanent in the universe, God also dwells in man, and in essence, God and man are non-different. Every aspect within God’s creation is indispensable and inseparable from every other. All religious differences to Sri Ramakrishna are due to narrowness and dogmatism.

 

In Sri Ramakrishna’s message of spirituality there was no sin but only error, no darkness but only absence of light. For his harmony of religions, he never asked anyone to accept something new. His only requirement was sincerity of purpose—a Hindu was to be a sincere Hindu, a Christian a sincere Christian, and a Mohammedan a sincere Mohammedan. Only by being sincere to our respective faiths can we compose a real harmony of faiths. A symphony sounds perfect only when each and every individual note is perfectly played.

But this gospel of catholicity and broadness was not of the customary kind, and the people of Sri Ramakrishna’s time were not yet ready to receive it. It had to wait for the right moment.

 

[Copyright Swami Adiswarananda]

Book  stop.gif (845 bytes) Weekly Message Archive