Messages of Sri Ramakrishna
The message of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world, which he gave through his life and through his recorded conversations, may be briefly stated as follows:
- The goal of human life is the realization of the Ultimate Reality which alone can give man supreme fulfillment and everlasting peace. This is the essence of all religions.
- The Ultimate Reality is one; but it is personal as well as impersonal, and is indicated by different names (such as God, Ishvar, etc) in different religions.
- The Ultimate Reality can be realized through various paths taught in world religions. All religions are true in so far as they lead to the same ultimate Goal.
- Purity of mind is an essential condition for the attainment of the Ultimate Reality; real purity is freedom from lust and greed. External observances are only of secondary importance.
- Through spiritual practices man can overcome his evil tendencies, and divine grace can redeem even the worst sinner. Therefore one should not brood over the past mistakes, but should develop a positive outlook on life by depending on God.
- God realization is possible for all. The householders need not renounce the world; but they should pray sincerely, practise discrimination between the Eternal and the temporal and remain unattached. God listens to sincere prayer. Intense longing (vyakulata) is the secret of success in spiritual life.
- God dwells in all people but the manifestation of this inner Divinity varies from person to person. In saintly people there is greater manifestation of God. Women are special manifestations of Divine Mother of the Universe, and so are to be treated with respect.
- Since God dwells in all people, helping the needy should be done not out of compassion (which is an attitude of condescension) but as humble service to God.
- Egoism, caused by ignorance, is the root-cause of all suffering.
- Life is an expression of the spontaneous creativity (Lila) of God. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, etc are to be borne with patience, and one should resign oneself to Godís will under all circumstances.