Both Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda are excellent teachers who have contributed significantly to the current popularity of yoga.

I recommend reading these two articles in the ” Yoga Philosophy ” category to gain a better understanding of their relationship:

Their bond is unique, just like these two amazing individuals.

Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda meet for the first time

Narendra (who had not yet assumed the name Vivekananda) had studied philosophy at this point in her life, and her main focus was God. He’d joined a Freemasons lodge, and his early beliefs included an immaterial god and a disdain for worship.

Surendra Nath Mitra was a devout Ramakrishna disciple who invited Ramakrishna to offer spiritual talks in Mitra’s home in Calcutta.

During a spiritual festival there, Ramakrishna met Narendranath for the first time.

The planned singer was unable to perform, and he was replaced by the youthful Narendranath.

Narendra performed some devotional songs, and Ramakrishna was amazed by his vocal abilities. He invited him to visit him in Dakshineswar (where his monastery is located).

It should be emphasized, however, that neither party believed this first meeting to be the first meeting!

Appointment not kept

Narendra’s family pushed him to marry, but he refused because he was spiritually inclined. When his uncle saw this, he recommended him to visit Ramakrishna.

He didn’t do it right away since he was focused on a test that he needed to pass.

However, he was once again recommended to see Ramakrishna.

In a lecture on William Wordsworth, one of his teachers used the term “trance” to describe the poet’s emotions and sentiments, a term that many students, including Narendrath, did not comprehend. His teacher then suggested that he seek out Ramakrishna, who had had a similar experience.

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Dakshineswar’s first encounters

Narendra traveled to Dakshineswar on the advice of his uncle and teacher, hoping to see Ramakrishna, who had been waiting for six months for this encounter to happen.

The first time around

Ramakrishna later recalled Narendra’s first visit to Dakshineswar:

“Narendra entered the room from the Ganges’ west door. I noticed that he was unconcerned about his appearance. His hair and clothes were not perfectly arranged, and he had no attachment to outward objects, unlike others. His eyes revealed that he spent the majority of his time thinking about himself. When I first saw this, I questioned if such a great aspirant could ever live in Calcutta, the abode of superficial minds.

Ramakrishna greeted Narendra with open arms and invited her to sit on a mat and sing a devotional song.

When Narendra completed singing, Ramakrishna moved, grabbed Narendra’s hands, walked him to Kali’s temple’s porch, and said to him, tears in his eyes:

“Oh, you arrived so late.” You’re being cruel by making me wait so long! My ears are almost scorched from listening to the world’s lousy conversation. Oh, how I wished I could dump my thoughts on someone who would understand them! ‘Lord!’ he said, his hands folded. I am aware that you are the ancient sage Nara – the Incarnation of Narayana – who was sent to Earth to end mankind’s suffering.

After that, Ramakrishna and Narendra went back to their room and began conversing. Ramakrishna was asked by Narendra if he had ever seen or experienced God. The latter responded positively right away.

Vivekananda recognized that he had encountered a master

Vivekananda was so moved by this encounter that he began to pay daily visits to Ramakrishna.

He was astounded because it was the first time he’d encountered someone who could claim to have had a spiritual experience. He realized that they were not just words, but expressions of profound underlying feelings.

The second meeting

Narendra had had an unusual occurrence.

While speaking with Ramakrishna, the latter immediately placed his right foot on his chest, and Narendra felt as if he was losing consciousness of the outside world. He became terrified and yelled. Ramakrishna chuckled and took his foot off his body. “All right, everything will happen in due time,” he replies as he regains consciousness.

Ramakrishna had hypnotized Narendra, he realized. He was irritated because he couldn’t seem to withstand her influence.

Dakshineswar’s third meeting

On their third meeting, Ramakrishna asked Narendra specific questions about what he had done and his goals… He then went on to tell his other followers that he was certain Narendra had gained perfection in a former life.

When Narendra failed to appear at Dakshineswar for several weeks, Ramakrishna became concerned and traveled to Calcutta to visit him.

Narendra then sang a devotional song at Ramakrishna’s request, during which Ramakrishna fell into a trance.

Then Ramakrishna requested that Narendra pay him a visit in Dakshineswar.

Ramakrishna’s disciple Narendra (1882—1886)

Meetings with Ramakrishna proved to be a watershed moment in both Narendra’s and Ramakrishna’s lives.

Narendra was drawn to Ramakrishna’s personality, but he was opposed to idol worship and was afraid of slipping into a trap.

But, after time, Narendra embraced Ramakrishna as his spiritual master and remained with him as a follower till the latter’s death.

In reality, they both put each other to the test to ensure their spiritual worth.

Vivekananda, who had adopted the name of the initiate, was already a master of meditation, but under Ramakrishna’s direction, he advanced even more.

Vivekananda wished to attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (the highest state of concentration) and begged Ramakrishna to assist him in doing so. Ramakrishna, on the other hand, wished to prepare him and devote him to the service of humanity, telling him that remaining engaged in Samadhi was a goal worthy of a restricted intellect.

Vivekananda was regarded by Ramakrishna as a divine manifestation (Narayana).

Ramakrishna’s illness and death

Vivekananda’s spiritual education was maintained by Ramakrishna’s disciples during his final days.

Vivekananda attained Nirvikalpa Samadhi as a result.

Ramakrishna’s first monastic order was formed when he and several other disciples were given ocher robes.

Ramakrishna taught him that the most effective way to worship God was to serve others.

He instructed her to watch after the other monastic disciples and to perceive Vivekananda as their leader one by one.

On August 16, 1886, Ramakrishna passed away early in the morning. On the banks of the Ganges, he was cremated. Narendra saw a glowing figure, which he identified as Ramakrishna when wandering outside Kali’s temple in Dakshineswar a week later.

Following Ramakrishna’s death

Vivekananda (third from left) and other Ramakrishna devotees in Baranagar Math in 1887.

Vivekananda and a few of Ramakrishna’s monastic disciples converted a derelict house in Baranagar into a monastery after Ramakrishna’s death in August 1886.

Then Vivekananda traveled all over India as a traveling monk (Parivrajaka Sadhu) between 1888 and 1893, visiting numerous states and holy places.

In 1888, Vivekananda met Pavhari Baba, a Hatha Yogi and ascetic.

Pahari Baba lived in his house’s basement hermitage, where he spent days practicing meditation and yoga.

Vivekananda, who wished to be initiated by Baba, was influenced by Baba.

However, Vivekananda is claimed to have experienced a dream in which his master Ramakrishna stared at him with a sad expression the night before the religious initiation. Because of this dream, he realized that only Ramakrishna could be his master, and he abandoned his plans to become Baba’s pupil.

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The influence of Ramakrishna on Swami Vivekananda

Ramakrishna was regarded by Vivekananda as a divine manifestation.

In an 1895 letter, he stated that there was a Ramakrishna in Ramakrishna.

“Infinite knowledge, infinite love, unlimited work, infinite compassion for all beings: infinite knowledge, infinite love, infinite work, infinite compassion for all beings.”

He felt it a privilege to have had the opportunity to rub elbows with this man so closely. He claimed he owed Ramakrishna everything.

“All that I am, and all that the world will one day be, I owe to my Master, Sri Ramakrishna, who embodied, experienced, and taught this beautiful unity that lies behind everything, which he discovered in the same way in Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.”

“I found that everyone’s steps are directed toward the same God, even though they take different pathways.”

“If I told you the truth, it was his and his alone; if I spoke a lot of things that were wrong, incorrect, or harmful to humans, they were all mine and my responsibility.”

The Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Chicago, is a gathering of religious leaders from throughout the world

Thus, during the Parliament of the World’s Religions, held on September 23, 1893, in Chicago (link), Vivekananda conveyed the message of Advaita Vedanta, the Hindu ideal inspired by Ramakrishna, the dean of the nineteenth-century revival.

Thus began the Ramakrishna movement’s amazing spread across the United States and eventually Europe.

This movement’s message also included the four yogas:

  • Karma yoga is defined as a selfless deed.
  • Bhakti yoga is a devotional yoga (with chants, mantras)
  • Jnana yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on wisdom and philosophy.
  • Raja yoga is the discipline of managing one’s body and mind, with asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) being key components that allow one to meditate.

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