Narasingha P. Sil

in Hinduism

ISBN: 9780195399318
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

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Rāmakṛṣṇa (Ramakrishna) Paramahaṁsa’s (birth name Gadādhar Caṭṭopādhyāy, b. 1836–d. 1886) widely publicized samādhis (trances), sermons, and spirited dances (uddām nŗtya) earned him posthumous renown as the foremost spiritual master of modern India. He was born in a poor Brahmin family of Kāmārpukur. Though reputed to be intelligent, he could not make it to high school. However, he pursued his family profession and became a priest of the Kālī temple at Dakṣiṇeśvar, owned by a low-caste wealthy dowager, Rāṇī Rāsmaṇi (b. 1793–d. 1861). Rāmakṛṣṇa’s ecstatic behaviors and conversations, characterized by his homespun witticism, were recorded by his devotees and admirers during his lifetime. Especially after the founding of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in its permanent location at Belud, India, in 1899, numerous sacred biographies of the Master and hermeneutical studies on his messages and spiritual states by monastic as well as lay scholars appeared. While most of these works are written in Bengali, with only some in English, critical studies since the 1990s have been available mostly in English. These generated a scholarly controversy that continues to stimulate further research.

Article.  9636 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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