Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Definition - What does Ramakrishna Paramahansa mean?

Ramakrishna Paramahansa was a mystic, Hindu guru and yogi, whose teachings have influenced many. In the nineteenth century, he was one of the most prominent spiritual figures in India. He was highly regarded for his ability to explain complex religious concepts in an intelligible and accessible manner.

He was known to his followers as Ramaskrishna, while Paramahansa is an honorific title, used to denote his status and show respect to his teachings. Paramahansa can be translated as “supreme swan.”

Yogapedia explains Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Ramakrishna Paramahansa lived from 1836 to 1886. His name at birth was Gadadhar Chatterjee, and he was born into a very poor Brahmin family in West Bengal. It is said that Ramakrishna's mother and father both experienced supernatural visions and dreams before Ramakrishna was born, and he himself experienced spiritual ecstasies from a very early age.

Ramakrishna was known for his intense devotion to the goddess Kali, whom he regarded as his mother and the mother of the whole universe. However, his teachings drew on a number of religious traditions, including Tantra, Vaishnava and Advaita Vedanta. He was even immersed at different stages in the teachings and practices of Islam and Christianity. It is said that Ramakrishna saw “all religions as true.”

At the age of 23, Ramakrishna married Saradamani Mukhopadhyaya, wholater became known as Sarada Devi. The marriage was never consummated, as Ramakrishna embraced the monastic life, but Sarada became a natural devotee of his teachings. She became known to both Ramakrishna and his disciples as the holy mother.

Reverence and admiration for Ramakrishna Paramahansa grew during his lifetime and his disciples and devotees swelled in number. His most influential disciple became Swami Vivekananda, who popularised a modern interpretation of Indian spiritual traditions, which integrated Tantra, Yoga and Advaita Vedanta harmoniously. Vivekananda set up the Ramakrishna order, a monastic organization, that went on to spread its mission posts throughout the world.

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