Unfolding the mystical life story of Ramakrishna Paramhans
12 April 2023
"Yatra Jeev Tatra Shiv"
(Where there is a living being there is Shiva or god)
One of the prominent spiritual influencers of his times, Ramkrishna Paramhans is one of the most well-known mystics of the Hindu religion.
He has been one of those spiritually engrossed humans who has inspired and has been inspiring many practicing spiritual beings.
Ramkrishna Paramhans was born in a Bengali Brahmin family in the village of Hooghly on 18th February 1836. Born by the name Gadadhar Chattopadhyay he was later known as Ramkrishna Paramhansa.
He was one of the religious, and spiritual leaders and mystics who inspired the world with his preachings which were carried forward to the world by Swami Vivekananda, his most prominent student and ardent follower. The life of Ramakrishna Paramhansa is very intriguing and unique in its way.
He who was said to be very close to god and the paranormal world has had the most struggling life and lifestyle. He was from a very normal Brahman family. Born to Khudiram Chattopadhyay and Chandramani Devi, Ramkrishna was their 4th and youngest child with two brothers and one sister.
His life as a human is so inspiring, dynamic, and unique that it is just impossible to cover all the stages of his inspiration through any medium. Living in Kamarpukur village, Gadadhar later known as Ramakrishna went to a local school to study. Despite being good at studies he was never really interested in the normal routine education. He left school very early and started his journey as a priest just like his father and elder brother.
While doing his duties as a priest/pujari he came across one of the most dynamic women Rani Rasmani. Rani Rasmani is known for her courageous decisions as a woman leader and queen. She was a very commanding and brave widow and single mother to the daughters of her times. She was wealthy as she inherited her husband's property and was known for her managerial skills in the estate for which she was awarded the title, Rani. Apart from this, she was religiously engrossed and very much devotional towards the goddess Kali.
Once she got a vision of the goddess Kali before she was about to leave for Kashi hinting at her to build a Kali temple in Dakshineshwar instead of visiting Kashi. Rani Rasmani being a non-Brahmin widow was opposed by people from all over Bharat to doing so without priests' help in religious proceedings. She was very much determined to do it all by herself and so she wrote to several Hindu leaders and priests of that time requesting to address the issue. Nobody except Ramakrishna's eldest brother Ramkumar addressed her issue positively.
Ramkumar replied to her saying that she can do the rituals with the help of some trusted priests and that she should go for it if she agrees to the guidelines. Being a revered job she agreed with the same and started making arrangements to officiate the temple and offer prasad to the temple. Later this temple was gifted to a priest and Ramkumar was offered to officiate the temple. Ramkumar shifted from Kamarpukur to Dakshineshwar to look after the temple proceedings regularly. Later Ramkrishna also joined him as Ramkumar started becoming old and less active.
This was where Ramkrishna began his journey of devotion and engrossment in worshiping Kali. Ramkrishna as a young kid had unimaginable experiences related to spiritual awakening. All of a sudden during school days Ramkrishna would start experiencing a trance while strolling through the fields and trees. Once while experiencing such a trance he fell and was taken home by the villagers. He would suddenly get so engrossed without even practicing meditation from a very early age.
He had gained knowledge of Brahman at a very early age in his life. Performing his duties as chief priest of Dakshineswar Kali temple he served his duty well but wanted to see Kali Ma at least once in his life. He would think about her all day and night. He would be engrossed in her duties and rituals without talking to anyone or having food, sometimes even sitting idly all the time looking at the idol of the goddess.
He was determined to see Goddess Kali and get her blessings at least once he meditated and meditated. He would offer prasad and perform the rituals and then spend the entire time thinking about Ma Kali. He would call their goddess and longed to see her like a child. Soon he started being devoted to Kali and his longing to meet her gradually reached to peak until one day out of frustration he decided to kill himself with the sword in front of him at the temple.
He was about to cut his wrist when suddenly he saw Ma Kali blessing him. He fell immediately at the feet of Goddess Kali's idol and couldn’t guess what happened until he woke up. He realized that he had experienced something phenomenal that no human could ever experience so easily.
Later, because of all this, his family started getting worried and asked him to get married. Ramkrishna though not interested in getting married himself told family members where the bride was. After getting married to her they lived together for 6 months and later Ramkrishna went on to his duties at Kali temple. His life started becoming more intense and he was constantly getting attracted to unworldly things. He would keep looking up at the sky, talk on his own, and think about everything in the universe very deeply.
After years of meditating and being spiritually engrossed in rituals as a pandit, he then met various experts in Tantra, Vaishnav Bhakti, and Vedanta and gained knowledge about all of them through them. Bhairavi Brahmani became the first one to teach him Tantra and she said that the experience which Ramkrishna felt while practicing all forms of Tantra was not ordinary. It was a rare experience and he did incredible as a disciple.
He later got acquainted more with Tota Puri who would stay with him and taught him everything about Advaita Vedanta. He followed all the practices as prescribed by Vedas and scriptures and even Tota Puri stated that the level of meditation or Nirvikar Samadhi that Ramkrishna Paramhans would be is just impossible to achieve or attain. Ramkrishna who started learning about Samadhi shastras initially faced many challenges while concentrating during meditation for Samadhi. He would be interrupted by Ma Kali's visions and would get distracted. Once while meditating and trying to attain Samadhi he again was interrupted by Ma kali. He then got up and felt very sad. He begged for her mercy and also asked Tota Puri to leave this attempt of helping him attain Samadhi. After this Tota Puri guided him further to attain Samadhi and locked him inside a hut for a long time. Meanwhile being locked, Ramakrishna tried concentrating again and was struck by Ma Kali’s visions.
The mythological evidence of this story claims that Ramkrishna himself describes his experience just like all his other experiences where he says that he slashed the image of Ma Kali while meditating in two parts with a sword and then got so deeply engrossed into meditation that he didn't have had to take more efforts later. After finally attaining Nirvikar Samadhi Ramkrishna stayed inside the hut in Samadhi for almost 3 days. After three days of no signs of Ramkrishna, Totapuri opened the locked door and could not believe what he saw. Ramkrishna had reached the highest level of Samadhi and spiritual awakening which even Tota Puri couldn’t.
After years and years of practicing spiritualism in the Hindu religion, Ramkrishna was also given the knowledge and accepted other religions of Islam and Christianity. He then based on his spiritual analysis of all the religions concluded that all the religions talk about just one God the ultimate almighty which is just the same. Ramkrishna thus became a globally accepted spiritual guru with a versatile knowledge of spirituality.
The significance of spirituality in human life is something beyond the capacity of ordinary beings. Every aspect of spirituality is different and there are many ways of growing your spiritual being is what we learn from such amazing spiritual leaders.
There have been such great humans in Bharat and its traditions, and culture that their life history and knowledge are just impossible to fit in the blocked square and rectangular formats.
Even after achieving so much Ramkrishna couldn’t help inspiring a great human in Swami Vivekananda a youth icon of all times. He inspired various people in various ways with the versatility of his knowledge, dedication, and hard work. Such a man was always mesmerized and craved guidance from Ramkrishna. We will learn about Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramhansa and their amazing relationship in the upcoming Bharatiyan’s attempt of explaining and bringing traditional Hindu and Bharatiya spirituality into the lives of mere humans like us.
Sources of research & Disclaimer:
The Internet, Wikipedia, and YouTube
The blog has been written by a writer from the point of view and understanding of the writer's concept of spirituality backed by research through various relevant sources. The life history and similar other details have been taken from sources like the internet and Wikipedia. We request all the readers that kindly enlighten us with views and update us with facts if any known by you related to any topic presented by us.
With the help of these blogs, we are not trying to preach and propagate anything to readers but rather it is a humble attempt to bring everyone’s notice to the greatness of our country “Bharat” in any and every possible way.