Who was the guru of Ramakrishna
The doctrine of the harmony of religions
"In this shrine we not only celebrate the Buddha's birthday, but also the birth of Christ and the feast days of the prophets. Here we celebrate Christmas and we pay homage to prophets and important incarnations by paying tribute to them and offering flowers."
The monk Swami Baneshananda explains during the tour of the extensive temple complex of Belur Math near Kolkata.
"According to the teaching of Ramakrishna we include all important founders of religions and saints in our daily prayers and spiritual acts. This is a very special merit of Sri Ramakrishna, which one searches in vain in other religious communities."
The Belur Math temple complex is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna movement. Its founder Sri Ramakrishna is also buried on the site. Just like his favorite student Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna's wife, Sarada Devi, who died in 1920.
"This is the most visited temple on the site. After a cleansing bath in the Ganges, visitors almost always come here first, to this very place, because this is where Sarada Devi, Ramakrishna's wife, found her grave. The Ramakrishna order was founded by her and directed. That a woman leads an order of monks is actually inconceivable in India. But that was exactly the case here.
In addition to the Ramakrishna Math, the largest monastic order in India, the Ramakrishna Mission, the movement's charity, is also housed on the premises.
Sri Ramakrishna founded the so-called "Ramakrishna Movement" towards the end of the 19th century. His teaching is based on a collection of ancient religious scriptures known as the Vedas. This is why the Ramakrishna movement is also known as the Vedanta Movement.
"In the Vedas it is written: 'There is only one divine truth, but it has different names.' A realization that most believers could not gain for a long time. Until Ramakrishna finally revived this insight. "
The spiritual leader Ramakrishna internalized the divine truth expressed in the Vedas after going through a variety of religious experiences.
With the help of a Hindu wandering monk, he achieved the union of spiritual consciousness with the highest self, a state in which he remained for about half a year without feeling his body.
Later he immersed himself in Islam, then in Christianity, in order to finally recognize Buddha and Jesus as incarnations of God and, moreover, to worship the gurus revered by the Sikhs as enlightened beings.
"He practiced all these religions and found that they led to the same goal. Thereupon he declared all religions to be right and true. This statement contributed significantly to the harmony among the members of the various religious communities."
This also referred to the mutual acceptance of the various Hindu groups. Ramakrishna showed similarities between the individual Hindu associations and thus created a collective consciousness.
Apart from that, Swami Baneshananda emphasizes, not only Hindus but also members of other religions could join the Ramakrishna Math.
"Anyone can join the Ramakrishna order. There are no restrictions - caste affiliation and religion do not matter. We have monks with a Christian background, Buddhists and also Muslims in our ranks. They can all continue to practice their faith and as Ramakrishna monks here at Monastery live. "
Almost 120 years ago, the World Conference of Churches in Chicago contributed to this harmony of religions lived today in Belur Math. In 1893 a representative of Hinduism took part for the first time. It was Swami Vivekananda, Ramakrishna's favorite disciple.
The ethnologist and Indologist Lydia Icke-Schwalbe from Dresden:
"There he suggested, through the dialogue that had already begun in India with representatives of the various Christian churches, to compare the omnipotence and universality of Hinduism with the Christian claim . Namely that he says: 'Hindu basically means to be human.' And not, as in the traditional translation: Hindu, a person or a being who was born of a Hindu, he says: All are born a Hindu. That basically means: people in the world. And as children of an omnipotence, one Elementary force, which in Hinduism is called Dharma. Therefore, all are basically Hindu. "
Swami Vivekananda received great acclaim at the World Church Conference. In the years that followed, he was mainly in the USA to spread the teachings of Ramakrishna.
After three and a half years he returned to India and founded the movement's aid organization, the Ramakrishna Mission. The Ramakrishna Mission is primarily active in the social field. Monks and lay people work hand in hand here to support the poor population. The help is understood as a worship service, since every fellow human being is viewed as a manifestation of God.
The Ramakrishna Mission is mainly active in India. It maintains its own hospitals, schools and libraries and provides assistance in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods.
"In the event of natural disasters, we are on site and of course we help all those affected indiscriminately. Nevertheless, during these missions we are often asked by people to take care of injured people in their religious community first. This makes us very thoughtful. But unfortunately that happens again and again. Another Part of the reality is that many people would be left to their own devices without our help. It's the same all over India. The local politicians are corrupt and do nothing. So we have to do their job instead. "
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