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He was always a man of the people: simple, full of warmth, and without snobbishness or religious dogma (system of beliefs).
As a child, Ramakrishna did not like routine schoolwork and never learned to read or write.
Instead, he began to demonstrate spiritual qualities well beyond his years, which included experiencing intensely joyful experiences, long periods of thought, and spiritual absorption in the sacred (holy) and traditional Indian plays, especially with the roles of the gods Shiva and Krishna.
During the last decade of his life, one of the most important events was the conversion of his disciple Vivekananda (1863–1902), who was destined to organize and promote Ramakrishna's teachings throughout India, Europe, and the United States.
In 1886, when Ramakrishna was near death, he formally designated Vivekananda his spiritual heir, or one who takes over his teachings. Kali's Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
He was disturbed by the gross business practices and inhumanity of the city environment.
However, when his brother was asked to become a priest at a large temple complex at Dakshineswar near the Ganges River outside Calcutta, Ramakrishna found a new and ultimately permanent environment for his spiritual growth and teaching.
During his formal initiation ceremony into the Brahmin caste (an Indian social class), he shocked his high-caste relatives by openly accepting a ritual meal cooked by a woman of low caste.
Though Ramakrishna resisted traditional priestly studies, at the age of sixteen he went to Calcutta, India, to assist his brother, who was serving as a priest for a number of local families.
Likewise, Ramakrishna's mother, Chandra Devi, had visions that her next born would be a divine (god-like) child.
Shortly afterwards, Chandra Devi gave birth to Sri Ramakrishna.