"Knowledge leads to unity, but Ignorance to diversity" – Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Born on 18 February, 1836, Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, who came to be known as Ramakrishna later in life, hailed from a poor Brahmin family from Kamarpukur village, in the Hooghly district of West Bengal.
Most accounts say that the saint was given the title of ‘Paramahamsa’ (a Sanskrit religio-theological appellation honor bestowed to Hindu spiritual tutors who have attained enlightenment) by his Vedantic guru, Totapuri, a naked monk from Punjab.
In the 19th century Bengal, the transcendent guru became the leading figure for resurgence of Hinduism during a period of strong spiritual crisis and severe collapse of humanism. He was known for his kindness, devotion and adored for his nonconformity.
Ramakrishna was known to breakdown complex spiritual folktales in the most coherent custom for the benefit of his disciples. The yogi’s preaching engrossed the atheist Narendranath Datta who turned into his most well-known disciple, Swami Vivekananda.
On Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s 184th birth anniversary, here are some interesting facts about the visionary master of the 19th-century:
1. He went to school till the early age of 12, but discontinued as a formal education did not interest him.
2. At the age of 23, he got married to five-year-old Saradamoni Mukhopadhyay, who later came to be known as Maa Sarada.
3. When Saradamoni came of age and joined the sage at Dakshineshwar, Ramakrishna had already entered the reclusive life of a hermit.
4. Apart from being well-versed in the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana, he was devoted to Goddess Kali.
5. His chief disciple Vivekananda established the Ramakrishna order, which eventually aided the spread of mission posts across the globe. The Mission formed the fundamental core of a universal spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement.
6. As per the existing chronicles, Ramakrishna asked Vivekananda to look after the welfare of the disciples and asked him to "teach them" after his death.
7. Ramakrishna’s disciples believed he was an avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
8. Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa suffered from clergyman's throat, which steadily matured into throat cancer and he breathed his last on August 16, 1886.
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