5.5 Sri Ramakrishna: “Service to mankind is service to God”


-Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886) was a well-known Indian Guru with a modern interpretation of Advaita Vedanta teaching.
-Sri Sarada Devi (1853-1920, left) was his wife and spiritual partner.
-Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902, right) was an important disciple. He ensured that the teachings of Ramakrishna became known throughout the world.
-Ramakrishna taught them that all living beings were a form of God himself. Therefore, service to God can be represented through service to mankind.

-He emphasized God-realization as the supreme goal of all living beings.

-He distinguished between Amaya and Maya.
Amaya (not Maya), the dark creative power (anger, cruelty, selfishness) that keep people at a low level of consciousness and hold on to the cycle of life and death. This must overcome man.

-Vidaya maya, on the other hand, stands for spiritual virtues, unselfishness, kindness, purity, love and devotion that elevate man to the higher realms of consciousness.

-He taught that the Divine Mother and Brahman are the same.