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Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Thursday January 27 2005 08:36 IST

By Karmayogi

Sri Aurobindo called him a spiritual prodigy. It is a rare spiritual adventure that he undertook to experience the realisations of various religions.

He would not have been known outside Dakshineshwar had not Swami Vivekananda emerged as the soul of India and carried the message of Vedanta beyond our shores. His discourses recorded by M are published under the title ’Ramakrishna Upanishadam’.

It is the upanishadam for common souls like us. The title is an apt Tamil idiomatic coinage. Ideas are explained through arguments and arguments by explanations. In India, symbolism has been developed as a major vehicle of communication. Our ancient literature is full of it.

Intellectuals are annoyed if an example is offered, as it is, at least in their opinion, an affront to their comprehension. Indians enjoy listening to an analogy. Sri Ramakrishna in his unlettered wisdom excelled in it.

Adwaita is to shed dwaita, the dualities, and seek identification. How to make real to the ordinary human mind the concept of identification? It is a task. Not to Sri Ramakrishna.

When we understand to some extent, the mind wants to have a wider territory of understanding. So, MAN wants to understand GOD! Most of the questions put to the Paramahamsa were ones that demanded greater comprehension.

It never strikes Man that there are things in the higher world for us waiting to be acquired bypassing understanding. Sri Aurobindo asks how can this smallness - Man - understand that Immensity? Sri Ramakrishna combined the answers to these two difficult questions - identification with God, comprehending Brahman - and created an analogy.

He spoke of a doll made of salt endowed with walking. The first thing the doll attempted was to fathom the ocean, not knowing it would be dissolved in the water.

Man is like a doll of salt that attains ’identification’ with its origin, the sea, by the ignorant effort to understand what is beyond understanding. Sages never seek publicity, especially if they are working for the world in the subtle plane. To be known is not wrong, maybe good, as people knowing the Rishi come to know what he has realised.

To be known is different from wanting to be known. All great movements of the world have emanated from the Minds of Sages. Mostly they dispel or dissolve hostile forces; often they set Revolutions afoot. All the discoveries, explorations, and inventions are first suggested to a Saint of that region and later sprout through a lesser mind or minds. Sri Ramakrishna belonged to a species that did his work silently and sought no publicity of any description.
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