SURENDRA K PURI writes about Shri Ramakrishna’s teachings that encourage us to see the divine spark in all beings around us
The book, Sri Ramakrishna in Today’s Violent World, published by Shri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Chennai, points out how the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna help resolve the problems of the modern world — hatred, violence,war and terrorism. Swami Ranganathananda,the 13th president of the Ramakrishna Mission, sums up the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna in the following words:
?Acceptance of universal gospels of all religions.
? Reverence and love for prophets and divinities of all religions.
? Respecting women as embodiments of the Divine Mother
? Serving human beings as they are Divine.
Swami Vivekananda says that man has been worshipping God in temples, churches and mosques. It is all right, but that is the primary stage. Man has not grown in wisdom to see that God everywhere. He is inside us and outside us. Our duty is to serve this God with utmost humility and devotion. Shri Ramakrishna says,“Do not try to trample upon the right of other human beings. Be humble and devoted to Him and realise that the human family is one:Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” It is said, when Shri Ramakrishna gave the message of Shiva jnane jiva seva, serve living beings as Shiva — in a state of ecstasy — Swami Vivekananda’s face brightened up. Later, he told others present there,“If the devout aspirant serves jivas as Shiva or Narayana, he will see God in all, attain true devotion and have the aim of his life fulfilled in a short time.”
Swami Vivekananda recommends: “Do not cling to rituals but transcend them and serve humanity because God is immanent in man.” Shri Ramakrishna asks,“If it is possible to worship God in an image, is it not possible to worship him in human beings?” This is the message of practical Vedanta, which is the crowning glory of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda tradition.This message of Sri Ramakrishna can unify the entire world. According to Vedanta, God is not only inside man and can be realised in samadhi, but He is present outside as well. Let us serve human beings around us in whom God is present. There can be differences in the modes of worship — kalmas or mantras — but in serving others, there can be no differences. When swamis or lay disciples of Ramakrishna Mission go to serve the poor in a town or village, they do not differentiate on the basis of religion — whether the man they are serving is a Muslim or a Christian or a Hindu; they serve everybody. This is the way to unify the world and drive home the point that man is an eternal part of God who is present not only in man, but also in birds and beasts, in flora and fauna.So one should be loving and compassionate to all. Shri Ramkrishna says: “Those who are same-sighted, for them God is present everywhere and they are His greatest devotees.” ¦