Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Ramakrishna Movement ?

What is Ramakrishna Movement?

Sri Ramakrishna’s religious activity and experiences were comprehensive to a degree that had perhaps never before been attained by any other religious genius in India or elsewhere.

Sri Ramakrishna’s life is a story of religion in practice and enables us to see God face to face.

Sri Ramakrishna has realized in himself more fully than any other man the total unity of the river of God which is open to all rivers and all streams.

Sri Ramakrishna is a rare combination of

• Individuality and Universality
• Personality and Impersonality

When Sri Ramakrishna had attained perfection in all sadhanas and had become firmly established in Bhava mukha, he came to certain conclusions. Two of those conclusions are

1. Mother of the Universe would found through him a new Movement to disseminate the universal doctrines illustrated in his own life.
2. She would send dedicated band of workers who would accept him as their ideal and spread his liberal doctrines and spiritual teachings to the world.

Returning to India at the beginning of 1897, Swami Vivekananda had given lavishly his unlimited spiritual and intellectual powers in an attempt to restore the greatness of his beloved Motherland, a greatness deeply rooted, as he again and again reminded the Indian people, in their ancient and incomparably rich religious heritage. Through many lectures and innumerable informal talks Swami had outlined his programme for the revival of a strong, spiritually oriented India, vigorous on all levels of thought and activity. Over and over, in a cascade of words, he had exhorted the Hindu people to live by and for the great ideals that had sprung from the very soul of the country itself, and to make them real. To put his program into operation, he wanted to convert India’s deep-rooted and highly honoured institution of sannyasa or monasticism, into an organized force that would, through service, regenerate the country materially, intellectually, culturally, and, above all, spiritually. To this end, he had organized the Ramakrishna Math and Mission setting in motion the “machine” that was to carry on his work forward and from which his Master’s teachings would spread and, as he said, “penetrate the world to the very bone.”

None can deny the fact that the Ramakrishna Movement has become a mighty source of power and glory. It has become a living symbol of Truth, Service, Renunciation, Universal Peace and Harmony in a world torn by mutual hatred and discord.

Naturally, then, the question rises whether this Movement is a new shoot of an old tree or a new shoot of a new tree. As in the case of the glacier ‘Gomukh’ giving birth to the mighty Ganga, a tide of noble thoughts with vast mass of spiritual energy flew out of the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, and manifested as the Ramakrishna Movement.

Thus, the Ramakrishna Movement is its twin aspects of Math and Mission is the Divine Will of the Mother of Universe crystallized into an organization through Sri Ramakrishna and his apostles led by Swami Vivekananda.

(Taken from “The Ramkrishna Movement in Sri Lanka with a brief introduction to the life of Sri Ramakrishna” by Swami Virupakshnanda)

Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna

When Sri Ramakrishna had attained perfection in all the sadhanas and had become firmly established in Bhava mukha, he came to certain conclusions regarding himself and spiritual matters in general.

Regarding himself he had the conviction that

1. He was an Incarnation of God, an Adhikarika Purusha all of whose spiritual strivings were for the sake of others
2. As long as the work of Iswara’s doing good to jivas continues, he has to reincarnate himself from age to age and carry out that mission
3. He knew the time of his passing away long before his mahasamadhi

Regarding spiritual matters in general he came to realize both by reason and through his yogic insight that

1. All religions are true and the various faiths are but so many paths to The One Godhead
2. His advent was to reveal this truth to the world and arrest the decline of religions and the quarrelling among themselves
3. The doctrines of dualism, qualified monism and monism influenced each one according to his spiritual progress
4. They are not contradictory, but complimentary to one another, depending on the evolution of the human mind
5. the non-dual state of Consciousness which is beyond the range of thought and word, is the ultimate goal to be realized
6. only the state up to qualified non-dualism can be grasped, by the mind and intellect and expressed in words, and in that state both the Absolute and the relative are equally eternal
7. The Lord Himself, His Name and His Abode are all of pure Consciousness
8. To the ordinary people attached to worldly enjoyments, the practice of dualism consisting in the disciplines of singing aloud the Lord’s name and form, His glory and powers, as presented in Narada Pancharatra, one of the devotional scriptures, is commendable
9. Performing one’s duty with a spirit of resignation to the will of and solely depending on God, the constant singing of God’s name together with meditation of Him which is Karma Yoga in practice is befitting the people of this age
10. The Mother of the Universe would found through him a new Movement to disseminate these universal doctrines illustrated in his own life
11. She would send dedicated bands of workers who would accept him as their ideal and spread his liberal doctrines and spiritual teachings to the world.

Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master: Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras 600004, 1952 edition; Pages: 302-4