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Home > Spirituality in religion
Spirituality in religion
Spirituality is a state of mind and heart of a person who is entirely into religious beliefs and practices. Such people often build up some relationship with god and thus spread the message of god on earth. Religion has been an constant example of such people where Jesus was said to be the Son of God and prophet Muhammad was sent as a messenger of Allah to preach his teachings. One such person was Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa and he has been India`s one of the most renouned spiritual saints. Here we have stated all about his spiritual experiences and his sayings.

Ramakrishna saw things which human beings are not permitted to see, and, described and spoke about things which is not lawful for any mortals to utter. For him the purpose of life was to realize God.Ramkrishna But he also knew very well that apart from various sects of Hinduism, there were other religions too like Islam and Christianity. So he attempted to establish unity of religions. Ramakrishna desired something infinitely greater than the reconciliation of all castes and creeds. He wanted that man as a whole should understand, sympathise with and love the rest of mankind. In one word, each religious man should identify himself with the life of Humanity. At the point of deep spiritual realization.

Ramakrishna was a sadhaka who put faith above reasons. It is not quite known whether he was advaitic or Visistadvaitic.Ramakrishna`s first important point was that God or the absolute religious entity is both with and without forms.

The Primordial Power is ever at play. He constantly creates, preserves, and destroys. The Power is called Kali. Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It is one and the same reality. Kali in her inactive form that is when she is not engaged in the act of creation, preservation, and destruction, is called Brahman. But when it engages in these activities, then we call it Kali or Shakti. The Reality is one and the same but the difference is in the name and form.

The true religious teachers of all times and ages are like so many lamps through which is emitted the life of the spirit, flowing constantly from one source. The Lord, The Avatara is always one and the same. Plunging into the ocean of life He rises up in one place and is known as Krishna, diving again and rising elsewhere, He is known as Christ. On the tree of faith and belief grew innumerable fruits such as Rama, Krishna, Christ and many other wonderful saints and prophets.

The difference between one deity and another is one of name and form. For example, gold is one, but it can assume various forms in different kinds of ornaments. The same chameleon can assume different colours. It is like water, called in different languages by different names, such as `jala`, `pani`, and so forth. All three denote one and the same thing, the difference being in the name only. In the same way, some address the Reality as `Allah`, some as `God`, and some as `Brahman`, some as `Kali`, and others by such names as `Rama`, `Jesus`, Durga, Hari.

Again, Ramakrishna holds that God is all-pervading spirit, He exists in all beings, even in an ant.
"0 Mother, Thou art verily Brahman, and Thou art verily Shakti. Thou art Purusha and Thou art Prakriti. Thou art Virat. Thou art the Absolute, and Thou dost manifest Thyself as Relative. Thou art verily the twenty four cosmic principles".

Ramakrishna has stated that:
"I believe in my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races. It is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these." In this statement he has emphasized on the fact that God is the superpower and resides in everything and everybeing.
Though God is manifested in all, but not in the same degree. There is more of God in an angel than in the mouse. Ramakrishna also holds that the manifestations of God are different with different things. God is more manifest in some than in others, more in man than in the stone and certainly more in the heart of His devotees than elsewhere, the more in the holy than in the wicked.

As God is manifest in everything, so He is present in idols as much as in His attributes. So even idol-worship is valid and helpful for the beginners. God is with form and without form. Images and other symbols are just as valid as our attributes. And these attributes are not different from idolatry, but are merely hard and petrified forms of it.

As all deities are valid, so sincerity and earnestness of faith are necessary for reaching God. Ramakrishna Paramhansa said that:
"To be sure, God exists in all beings,
God can be realized through all paths.
All religions are true.
The important thing is to reach the roof.
You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope.
You can also climb up by a bamboo pole."
"The Christians, the Brahmans, the Hindus, the Mussalmans, all say, `My religion alone is true`. But, Mother, the fact is that nobody`s watch is right. Who can truly understand Thee? But if a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart, he can reach Thee, through Thy grace, by any path. "

Thus Ramakrishna renouncing the narrow path of the monopolist and fanatic held that through earnestness and yearning all lovers of God will reach the same goal. If a man has faith, then Ramakrishna states that it does not matter whom he worships. Hence, Ramakrishna concludes,
"All religions and all paths call upon their followers to pray, to one and the same God. KaliTherefore, one should not show disrespect to any religion or religious opinion. It is God alone who is called Satchidananda Brahman in the Vedas, Satchidananda Krishna in the Puranas, and Satchidananda Shiva in the Tantras. It is one and the same Satchidananda. Different creeds are but different paths to reach the Almighty. Diverse are the means by which this Kali temple may be reached. Some come here in boats, some in carriages, some on foot. Similarly, different people attain God by following different creeds."

Ramakrishna has always suggested that all forms of religions are the pathways to reach the supreme goal called God. He had asked people to choose whichever path that appealed them the most and the path they were comfortable in. Religions are mere pathways to reach the Ultimate God.

Knowing that all paths lead to the same Truth, we should not despise other Deities, but maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. The Lord has provided different forms of worship to suit different men with different capacities and with different stages of spiritual development. As God has many aspects, so God is described according to the particular aspect in which He appears to his particular worshipper.

One should know that only through `ignorance one harbours sectarian views and quarrels. One should know that men differ in their types, temperament and spiritual development, so their objects of worship have to differ and God reveals Himself to different men differently to suit their requirements. Ramakrishna has emphasized two things. First, sincerity, earnestness and faith in worship of any deity whatsoever; secondly, belief in one God.

In order that earnestness and seriousness for one`s own religion may not degenerate into fanaticism, Ramakrishna enjoins the believer to have belief in one God, as ultimate referent under-lying all religious faiths. He states:
"One may have that single-minded devotion to one`s own religion, but one should not on that account hate other faiths. On the contrary, one should have a friendly attitude toward them."
Ramakrishna has said that time and again one should try every faith to realise that the teachings of every faith is similar and the aim of every faith is to lead towards the God but the path followed is different.

For this purpose Ramakrishna took to Islam and uttered the name of Allah in 1866. Similarly in November 1874 Ramakrishna took to Christianity. In a vision Christ whispered to him thus:
"Behold the Christ, who shed his heart`s blood for the redemption of the world, who suffered a sea of anguish for love of men. It is He, the master, who is in eternal union with God. It is Jesus, Love incarnate."

Some famous sayins of Ramakrishna are as follows:
God is Love:
If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God… Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious. One must practice the virtues taught in such books in order to acquire love of God.

God is True Knowledge:
If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. When the divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low. Good and evil cannot bind him who has realized the oneness of Nature and his own self with Brahman.

God is in Your Heart:
kaliBecause of the screen of Maya that shuts off God from human view, one cannot see Him playing in one`s heart. After installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering God ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not.

God is in All People:
God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer.

God is Our Father:
As a nurse in a wealthy family brings up her master`s child, loving it as if it were her own, yet knowing well that she has no claim upon it, so you also think that you are but trustee and guardians of your children whose real father is the Lord himself.

God is Infinite:
Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached.

God is Truth:
Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God Who is the soul of truth. One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God.

God is above all Arguments:
If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled.

God is Work:
Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone.

God is the End:
To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end.
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