Sri Ramakrishna is the spiritual rebirth of India to meet the challenge of the missionaries in what was more typical, and is the first of the modern gurus have influenced all the others. Born in a Brahmin family of Bengal under the name of Gadadhar Chatterji, from a very early age he lives mystical experiences. At nineteen, with his brother Ramkumar, he moved at the temple of goddess Kali at Dakshineswar near Calcutta, where he would spend the rest of his life.
Devotion to Kali Shakti of Shiva, and representation of the Divine Mother and the weather in the aspects of both benevolent, and destructive will remain at the center of the spirituality of Ramakrishna, and Dakshineswar is still the sanctuary of his movement. Here, in twenty years, the young Gadadhar begins to have visions of Kali, which lead him to a state of mystical madness. Subsequently, arises under the tutelage of various teachers, guidance is tantric, both devotional, and finally tied Advaita Vedanta.
A current monaco latter met in 1864, Tota Puri, giving it the name of Ramakrishna, which combines those of two gods in fact, Rama and Krishna who is more devoted. His teachers proclaim new avatar for modern times. Ramakrishna reacts cautiously at first, but later explicitly proclaim a divine incarnation, with a mission directed specifically to non-Hindus and non-Indians. Ramakrishna also studied Sufism in fact, in 1874 and has a mystical vision of Jesus Christ.
The main disciples of Sri Ramakrishna are his wife Sarada Devi (1853-1919), the movement that reveres as the incarnation of the Divine Mother, and Naren, that by the name of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) travels the world as the first great missionary Hinduism. Particularly important is his participation in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 In 1896 he founded the New York Vedanta Society, which aims to spread Hinduism in the world and closely related to the Order and the Ramakrishna Mission.
These institutions preserve the atmosphere of enthusiasm for India at the beginning of the twentieth century, and are perhaps more important for the influence they have exerted on almost all subsequent movements that are as yet in the modern West.
At the end of the 1990s was founded in Catania association Ramakrishna Math, who oversaw the spread of Vedanta philosophy through meetings and seminars, the creation of other groups and the strengthening of the website and the forum where you can discuss the Vedanta as taught by Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. The Ramakrishna Mission is regularly present through Swami Vita Mohananda, which carries out conferences and seminars on topics relating to the spiritual journey in general.
Over the centuries, India has produced many great saints and teachers, who are enlightened. The latter is, in some respects, the greatest was Ramakrishna. His life was a true demonstration of the truth of Vedantic principles. Sri Ramakrishna had direct experience of reality unique behind the many spiritual paths and, as he discovered the same reality in other religions of the world, your life expresses the highest degree of the universality of spiritual phenomenon. Its so that the center of Dakshineswar refers to Ramakrishna of whose name it bears.
Sri Ramakrishna spent most of his life in Calcutta, in a temple on the banks of the Ganges. Its a fortune for posterity that most of his teachings were written word for word. They can be found in the book The Evangile of Sri Ramakrishna. Max Muller, Romain Rolland and Christopher Isherwood who wrote the biographies of Ramakrishna to the Western world.
After the death of Ramakrishna sixteen of his intimate disciples formed, according to his instructions, a small monastic community that was to become the order of Ramakrishna. The most important of them was Swami Vivekananda, who had the opportunity to represent the Vedanta philosophy as to the World Parliament of Religions, which met in Chicago in 1893.
The success of the Swami was so triumphant that he was invited to settle in America. For three years he traveled the country, giving lectures and courses, studying the contribution which India and the West could lead to one another. In the second trip to the West in 1899, Vivekananda spent three months in France, participating in the Congress of the History of Religions, held in Paris, within the framework of the Universal International in 1900.
In India, Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission, an organization with charitable and educational purposes. The order and the Ramakrishna Mission are parallel organizations whose work is intimately mixed, as the achievements of the Mission insured by the monks of the order. Organizations twin head a hundred centers in all parts of India.
Their work includes help for rural development, the management of hospitals and clinics, schools and other establishments of education and teaching. Many publishers produce books and magazines spiritual in all the languages of India. Swami Vivekananda wished that those humanitarian activities were carried out in a spirit of service to the Divinity in man.
The direction of the Order and the Ramakrishna Mission is located in the monastery of Belur Math, the parent on the Ganges, founded by Swami Vivekananda in 1899, a few miles north of Calcutta. Currently, the number of Swami and novices in the order of Ramakrishna is more than a thousand.