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The importance of Ramakrishna for India

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Montage made for the Darshan-Day August 15, 2000
The photo of Sri Aurobindo on the right has been taken at Amraoti on 29th January 1908
after his speech on the symbolic signification of the "Bande Mataram"

JPG Version (58 Kb)

Second montage (jump below)
Links to Websites on Ramakrishna (jump below)

Note: In the first days of January 1908 at Baroda - short after the Surat Congress, , Sri Aurobindo had made the spiritual experience of the "Silent Brahman" under the guidance of the Guru Lele. He says in "On Himself", "In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside: I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free. From that moment, in principle, the mental being in me became a free Intelligence, a universal Mind, not limited to the narrow circle of personal thought as a labourer in a thought-factory, but a receiver of knowledge from all the hundred realms of being and free to choose what it willed in this vast sight-empire and thought-empire" (p. 84).
In the following days, Sri Aurobindo had to make several "political" speeches.
"The most important of the speeches was the one Sri Aurobindo gave on 19th January before the National union. Although the people knew about the lecture only three or four hours earlier, a gathering of over 3,000 had assembled to hear him. When he went to the meeting, the silence of the mind was the sole reality and there was no stir of activity at all on the surface. But Lele, who had accompanied Sri Aurobindo, asked him to make namaskar to the audience and wait - and speech would come to him from one source other than the mind. So in fact the speech came, and ever since, all speech, writing, thinking, outward activity were to come to him from the same other-than-mind sovereign source. " (from K.R.S. Iyengar: Sri Aurobindo - a biography and a history p. 262)

[On the importance of Ramakrishna for India]

From a lecture delivered under the auspices of the Bombay National Union by Sri Aurobindo to a large gathering at Mahajanwadi, Bombay, on Sunday, the 19th January, 1908. The title is "The present situation".

[…] The Bengali has the faculty of belief. Belief is not a merely intellectual process, belief is not a mere persuasion of the mind, belief is something that is in our heart, and what you believe, you must do, because belief is from God. It is to the heart that God speaks, it is in the heart that God resides.
That saved the Bengali. Because of this capacity of belief, we were chosen as the people who were to save India, the people who were to stand foremost, the people who must suffer for their belief, the people who must meet everything in the faith that God was with them and that God is in them. Such a people need not be politically strong, it need not be a people sound in physique, it need not be a people of the highest intellectual standing. It must be a people who can believe.

In Bengal there came a flood of religious truth.
Certain men were born, men whom the educated world would not have recognised if that belief, if that God within them had not been there to open their eyes, men whose lives were very different from what our education, our Western education, taught us to admire.

One of them, the man who had the greatest influence and has done the most to regenerate Bengal, could not read and write a single word. He was a man who had been what they call absolutely useless to the world. But he had this one divine faculty in him, that he had more than faith and had realised God. He was a man who lived what many would call the life of a madman, a man without intellectual training, a man without any outward sign of culture or civilisation, a man who lived on the alms of others, such a man as the English-educated Indian would ordinarily talk of as one useless to society. He will say, "This man is ignorant. What does he know? What can he teach me who have received from the West all that it can teach?"
But God knew what he was doing. He sent that man to Bengal and set him in the temple of Dakshineshwar in Calcutta, and from North and South and East and West, the educated men, men who were the pride of the university, who had studied all that Europe can teach, came to fall at the feet of this ascetic.

The work of salvation, the work of raising India was begun.

Sri Aurobindo

from "Speeches", booklet edition pages 26-27
also in SABCL, volume 1
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA

SA and RMK GIF 104 K

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Montage made for the Darshan-Day August 15, 2000
The photo of Sri Aurobindo on the right has been taken at Amraoti on 29th January 1908
after his speech on the symbolic signification of the "Bande Mataram"

JPG Version (62 Kb)

On Ramakrishna (18 February 1836 - 16 August 1886)

[At the time of Ramakrishna's Mahasamadhi Sri Aurobindo had just turned 14, and was living in England]

"In a recent and unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahansa we see a colossal spiritual capacity, first driving straight to the divine realization, taking, as it were, the kingdom of heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yogic method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realisation and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge.
Such an example cannot be generalised. Its object also was special and temporal, to exemplify in the great and decisive experience of a master-soul the truth, now most necessary to humanity, towards which a world long divided into jarring sects and schools is with difficulty laboring, that all sects are forms and fragments of a single integral truth and all disciplines labour in their different ways towards one supreme experience."

Sri Aurobindo

in "The Synthesis of Yoga", Introduction: "The conditions of the synthesis", chapter 5: "Synthesis", SABCL volume 20, pages 36-37 (written in 'Arya' December 1914)
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA
Links to Websites on Ramakrishna

1 - Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York
and especially on this site:
Sri Ramakrishna (a biography)
Sri Ramakrishna By Swami Nikhilananda (biography)
January 1st: The Day of Sri Ramakrishna's Self-Revelation
Universal Teaching of Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna, The Great Master (Chapter 1)
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Foreword and Introduction)
Tributes to Sri Ramakrishna (a.o. Sri Aurobindo's quoted above)
Books on Sri Ramakrishna
Headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission (Belur Math in Calcutta)

2 - Vedanta.org (a biography of Ramakrishna)
and especially: photos

3 - Ramakrishna: Quotes

4 - Ramakrishna's Sayings

5 - Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa tells stories
and especially:
Little stories
Stories of Misunderstood Philosophy

6 - Sri Ramakrishna (biography on Vedanta.com)

7 - Sarada Devi - Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - SRV Association
and especially biography of Ramakrishna

8 - Sri Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsadeva (biography)

9 - Sri Ramakrishna (a biography)
and especially
Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna
and among them
Swami Brahmananda (met by Sri Aurobindo at Belur Math)
also at: Apostles - Swami Brahmananda

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