Life in our times appears to be mundane and hectic bundled together. With no great purpose on hand and with all the material indulgences pulling us away, we get desperation and delusion at regular intervals. Will spirituality provide the solution for this muddle? Will it not be fine if an “Avatar” descends at our time to salvage us from our problems? These thoughts do come in our mind as we are helpless.
But there is one person who can guide us from this delusion. Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, who is an embodiment of our spiritual and cultural heritage, shows us the way. Knowing well that the material thirst is one which can never get satiated, he advises people to meditate and be with the thought of God constantly, as that alone can take us towards the liberation. He says,” The magnetic needle always points to the North, and hence it is that the sailing vessel does not lose Direction. So long as the heart of Man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of Worldliness.” This longing for God will ultimately lead a person towards a virtuous life. This is crux of Indian spirituality where 'Dharma' is the bedrock.
We need conviction, commitment in our search for God. Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna Says that in order to realize God one must have perseverance and utmost desire. To emphasise this he gives an analogy. 'when can I realize God? asked a disciple. The guru didn't reply.Instead he caught his disciple by the hand, took him to the river and pushed his head down into the water and kept it like that for a few minutes. The aspirant struggled for breath and the guru wouldn't leave him. Finally in a desperate action the disciple gathered all the strength he had and pushed away Guru's hand. When he came out of the water Guru said, “when you have desperate desire to get your breath back, you gathered all your strength to come up. Likewise you can realize God with the same kind of strength and persistence. It will not come with mere study”. Sri Ramakrishna was in fact called as mad for his love towards God. Swami Vivekananda articulates it nicely for people to understand the persona of Sri Ramakrishna when he says, “ I know one ( Sri Ramakrishna) whom the world used to call mad, and this was my answer: 'My friends, the whole world is a lunatic asylum. Some are mad after worldly love, some after name, some after fame, some after money, some after salvation and going to heaven. In this big lunatic asylum I am also mad, I am mad after God. If you are mad after money, I am mad after God. You are mad; so am I. I think my madness is after all the best.' (cw3:100).
It was Sri Ramakrishna, who arrived at a time when our spirituality and cultural heritage were waning. He revived it and revitalized it by living rather than eulogizing it. His contribution can be understood through the words of French Litterateur, Romain Rolland, who said, “The man whose image I invoke here was the consummation of two thousand years of spiritual life of three hundred million people'. These words will imply the importance and greatness of Sri Ramakrishna and his crucial role in reviving the lost sheen of our Spiritual and Cultural Heritage. Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna continues to inspire us and guide us. His light will help us through the tunnel.