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Sri Ramakrishna's Universal Vision

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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.





Sri Ramakrishna’s Universal Vision






Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center

New York


In the history of religions, the life of Sri Ramakrishna is unique. He had no education in science; yet one can find the essential scientific spirit revealed in his life and teachings. Unlike any of his contemporaries of the orthodox school, he did not study the scriptures; yet the conclusions of the scriptures came to be verified by his own experiences and revelations. His practice of different religions was never motivated by a predetermined plan, and his universal vision was not a consequence of extensive travel in far-off lands. Had he studied science, future generations would perhaps have doubted his pure devotion to universal Truth. Had he read the scriptures, they would have taken his revelations and his devotion for the Divine Mother as mere imitation. Whenever his experiences were put to objective testing, they invariably proved to be true. Whenever his revelations were compared to the testimony of the scriptures, people were astonished to find they were orthodox to the core. Doubts, therefore, only burnished his image; disbelief was resolved into the vitality of his message; and the objective verification of his experiences confirmed the stainless purity of his character and genuine love of God.


Sri Ramakrishna’s earthly ministry was extremely brief. He did not take up a personal mission to preach and propagate his message. He remained completely hidden from the public eye. By his silent and profound life, Sri Ramakrishna combined within him not only all spiritual thoughts of the past but also the spiritual aspirations of the future. During his time, the degeneration was great, the doubts were deep, and therefore the realizations were required to be extraordinary. There had been enough speculation. The world needed a living example, a decisive demonstration of the spiritual truth in everyday life. No reform movement—social, political, or economic—could salvage the soul. The answer to all agnostic vagueness is the direct realization of God, not the mere assurances of scripture and reason. In Sri Ramakrishna there was only God. He constantly remained intoxicated in that divine vision. His mind would continually dive deep in the ocean of divine consciousness to dredge more deeply the realm of bliss, and only at long intervals, out of compassion, would it return to this world of “mine” and “thine” in order to teach others. A person of such God intoxication rarely preaches or takes up an active mission on earth. For an earthly mission, one must take a step down from the state of constant God consciousness. But the silent thoughts of great souls permeate the atmosphere. Sri Ramakrishna’s powerful thoughts, stainless purity, burning renunciation and infinite heart filled the atmosphere around him with a spiritual power that transformed and uplifted all who came under its influence.  


[Copyright Swami Adiswarananda]

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