Swami Vivekananda said to a disciple on the birthday celebration of Sri Ramakrishna, 1902 at Belur.
''Blessed are those who have seen Sri Ramakrishna. All of you, too, will get his vision. When you have come here, you are very near to him. Nobody has been able to understand him who came on earth as Sri Ramakrishna. Even his own nearest devotees have no real clue to it. Only some have a little inkling of it. All will understand in time.'
A popular song my Master often used to sing comes to my mind:
"He who's a man after one's heart
Betrays himself by his very looks.
Rare indeed is such a one!
He's a man of aesthetic perceptions
Who treads a path contrary to others."
Sister Nivedita told the Swami of the realization that had come to her that religions were only languages, and they must speak to a man in his own language.
"Yes!" the Swami said, 'and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the only man who taught that! He was the only man who ever had the courage to say that we must speak to all men in their own language!"
[Feb 19, 1899]
“That was why Ramakrishna Paramhansa came into the world to teach—and he was the only man who ever did—that we were to talk to everybody in his own language."
- I always think of him as my child. You know he always depended on me, as the strongest of the whole lot, and at the very end—when he was nearly at the last. He put his arms about my shoulders and said, ‘This is a hero!’”
Pointing out mistakes hurts a man's feelings. We saw how often Sri Ramakrishna would encourage people who we thought were worthless and change the whole course of their lives! His method of teaching was phenomenal.
[Diary of a Disciple]
First, we must raise the Hindu race, then the world. That is why Sri Ramakrishna was born. He never destroyed a single man's inclinations. He gave words of hope and encouragement even to the most degraded and uplifted them. We must follow in his footsteps and uplift everyone, and rouse them. Do you understand?
[Diary of a Disciple]
- Swami Vivekananda said to a disciple: 'My son, there is no rest for me. That which Sri Ramakrishna called "Kali" took possession of my body and soul three or four days before his passing away. That makes me work and work and never lets me keep still or look to my personal comfort.'
- The Master made me his slave by his love for me.
- Comparing his own spiritual attitude with that of Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda said, "He was a jnani within, but a bhakta without; but I am a bhakta within, and a jnani without."
- If there has been anything achieved by me, by thoughts or words or deeds, if from my lips has ever fallen one word that has ever helped anyone in the world, I lay no claim to it; it was his. But if there have been curses falling from my lips, if there has been hatred coming out of me, it is all mine, and not his. All that has been weak has been mine; all that has been life-giving, strengthening, pure, and holy has been his inspiration, his words, and he himself. Yes, my friends, the world has yet to know that man.
Feb 28, 1897, Calcutta speech.
- My teacher, my master, my hero, my ideal, my God in life.
- From the time he gave me over to the Divine Mother, he retained the vigor of his body only for six months. The rest of the time — and that was two long years — he suffered.
- Was it a joke that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa should touch a life? Of course he made new men and new women of those who came to him, even in these fleeting contacts!
(CWSN 1: 130)
- "Let none regret that they were difficult to convince! I fought my Master for six years with the result that I know every inch of the way! Every inch of the way!"
And so, you see my devotion is the dog's devotion. I have been wrong so often and he has always been right, and now I trust his judgement blindly.
(Attributed to SV by Sister Nivedita)
The Master said he would come again in about two hundred years — and I will come with him. When a Master comes, he brings his own people.
(From Mrs. Edith Allan's reminiscences)
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to begin every day by walking about in his room for a couple of hours, saying 'Satchidânanda!' or 'Shivoham!' or some other holy word.
(CWSN 1: 255)
- Ramakrishna has no peer. Nowhere else in the world exists such unprecedented perfection, such wonderful kindness to all, such intense sympathy for men in bondage.
- He had the same sympathy for all; he had found the secret of their harmony. A man ought to be intellectual, or devotional , or mystic, or active; each of the various religions represents one or the other of all these types. Yet it is possible to combine all the four in one man,
and this is what humanity in the future is going to do. That was his
idea. He condemned none but saw the good in all.
- He was a triumphant example, a living realization of the complete
renunciation of lust and money. He was far beyond any idea of either; and such a man was necessary for this present age. Such renunciation is necessary in these days when men have begun to think that they cannot live even a month without what they call their 'necessities,' while at the same time they are increasing in geometrical ratio. It was necessary in a time like this - one man should arise to demonstrate to the skeptics of the world that he cared not a straw for all
the gold and all the wealth that was in the universe.
- This is the message of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world. Care not for doctrines or for dogmas, for sects or for churches. All these count for
but little compared with that essence of existence which is in each one, and
called 'spirituality'. The more this develops in a man, the more powerful is he for good. He who has most of it can do good most to his fellow man. First, then, acquire that. Only those who have seen it will understand this; but such spirituality can be given to others, even though they be
unconscious of the gift. Only those who have attained to this power are amongst the
great teachers of mankind. They are the powers of light. Then be you this! The more of such men any country produces, the higher that country is raised. That land where no such men exist is doomed. Nothing can save it. Therefore, my Master’s message to the world is, ‘Be ye all spiritual! Get ye first realization!’ And to the young and strong of every country he would cry that the time is come for renunciation. 'Renounce for the sake of humanity! You have talked of the love of man till the thing is in danger of becoming words alone. The time is come to act. The call is now. Do! Leap into the breach and save the world!
- I am what I am , and what I am is always due to him. Whatever in me or in my word s is good and true and eternal came to me from his mouth, his heart, his soul. Sri Ramakrishna is the spring of this phase of the earth’s
religious life., of its impulses and activities. If I can show the world one glimpse
of my Master I shall not live in vain.
- He (Shri Ramakrishna) was contented simply to live that great life and to leave it to others to find the explanation!
- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the only man who ever had the courage to say that we must speak to all men in their own language!
- The future, you say, will call Ramakrishna Paramahamsa an Incarnation of Kali? Yes, I think there's no doubt that She worked up the body of Ramakrishna for Her own ends.
- But you may ask, 'What is the place of Ramakrishna in this scheme?'
- He is the method, that wonderful unconscious method! He did not understand himself. He knew nothing of England or the English, save that they were queer folk from over the sea. But he lived that great life: and I read the meaning. Never a word of condemnation for any!
- Yes, my own life is guided by the enthusiasm of a certain great personality, but what of that? Inspiration was never filtered out to the world through one man!
- It is true I believe Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to have been inspired. But then I am myself inspired also. And you are inspired. And your disciples will be; and theirs after them; and so on, to the end of time!
- My old Master used to say, "It is all very good to teach the parrot to say, 'Lord, Lord, Lord' all the time; but let the cat come and take hold of its neck, it forgets all about it"
- He made me his slave by his great love for me!
- He was the Savior of women, Savior of the masses, Savior of all, high and low.
(Letter to Ramakrishnananda, 1895)
- From the date that the Ramakrishna incarnation was born has sprung the Satya -Yuga. Whatever the Vedas, the Vedanta, and all the other incarnations have done in the past, Sri Ramakrishna lived to practice in the course of a single life.
(Letter to Ramakrishnananda, 1895)
- Whoever -- man or woman -- will worship Sri Ramakrishna, be he or she ever so low, will then and there be converted into the very highest ... Everyone has the right to worship him. Whoever will worship him only with devotion shall be blessed for ever.
(Letter to Ramakrishnananda, 1895)
- In the Ramakrishna Incarnation there is knowledge, infinite love, infinite work, infinite compassion for all beings. You have not yet been able to understand him. Even after hearing about him, most people do not understand him. What the whole Hindu race has thought in ages, he lived in one life. His life is the living commentary to the Vedas of all nations. People will come to know him by degrees.
(Letter to Brahmananda , 1895)