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Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna or Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (shrē rä´məkrĬsh´nə pərä´məhän´sä), 1836–86, Hindu mystic. He was born of a poor Brahman family in Bengal, and his given name was Gadadhar Chatterjee. In about 1855 he became a devotee of the goddess Kali and lived for the rest of his life at her temple in Dakshineswar outside Calcutta (now Kolkata). During a 15-year period of intense spiritual practice he mastered all the types of Hindu Yoga and also had mystical experience through Christian and Islamic worship. He concluded that all religions are valid means of approaching God. Ramakrishna had little formal learning, but his saintliness and wisdom attracted a large following. After his death his teachings were spread by his disciples and by his wife Sarada Devi. Ramakrishna's message of universal religion was carried to the West by Swami Vivekananda. The Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Vivekananda, is represented by a large monastic order in India, devoted to both contemplation and social action, and by centers in major cities of Europe and the United States. Ramakrishna's sayings are contained in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (tr. by Swami Nikhilananda, 1942).

See biographies by S. Saradananda (3d ed. 1963) and D. G. Mukherji (1985); C. Isherwood, Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1965).

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Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna ( Gadādhar Chattopādhyāya; 1836–86). Hindu ascetic and mystic. Born in a Bengali village, at 19 he became the priest of Kālī at Dakshineśwar, near Calcutta, and lived there for almost all the rest of his life, exploring a wide range of religious experiences. Ramakrishna drew around himself a band of English-educated young Bengalis, who saw in him a living symbol of their ancient religious tradition and a sign of its renewed vitality in the modern world. He came to be regarded by some as an avatāra (manifestation) of God. To these disciples he expounded his teaching, mainly in stories and short sayings. After Ramakrishna's death, his disciple, Vivekānanda, drew together many of his other followers in a movement which is now world-wide, the Ramakrishna Mission, basing it upon his own interpretation of his master's teaching.

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Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna (1836–86) ( Gadadhar Chatterji) Hindu spiritual teacher who taught that all religions were united in a common goal of union with the same God. His disciple, Swami Vivekananda, founded (1897) the Ramakrishna Mission in India.

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Ramakrishna

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