In a recent conversation about Swami Omkarananda I was told that from the very beginning he based his spiritual philosophy on the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda was a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna’s, in the same way that Swami Mangalananda is/was a disciple of Swami Omkarananda’s. This made me very curious about Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, so I did some research. This is what I found out about Sri Ramakrishna.
Sri Ramakrishna was born in 1836 in the village of Kamarpukur just north of Calcutta. He was the fourth of five children to poor parents. At a young age he exhibited strong spiritual tendencies, which included ecstatic experiences, long periods of contemplation, and a deep interest in the study and worship of the gods Shiva and Krishna. As he grew his whole life was literally a contemplation of God. Through his God-intoxicated life, he showed that the revelations of God can take place at any and all times. He also proved that God-realization is not the exclusive honor of any particular time, country, or people. Sri Ramakrishna did not form any cult or sub-religion. His message to the world was his God-consciousness, and that when that falls short, traditions become oppressive and religious teachings lose their true meaning.