Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Educational Complex

Hatamuniguda, Odisha

Holy Trio

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886)

The story of Sri Ramakrishna is the story of religion in practice. His life enables us to see God face to face. Sri Ramakrishna is today regarded as an incarnation of God of the Modern Age. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. He reached a depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Sri Ramakrishna, as a silent force, influences the spiritual thought currents of our time.


Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. In him, deepest spirituality and broadest catholicity stood side by side. He was unique in that he practised in turn the spiritual disciplines of all the sects of Hinduism, and of Christianity and Islam, and attained God-realization in each one. At the end of it all, he proclaimed to the world: “As many faiths, so many paths.” His realization and proclamation of the fundamental unity of all religions is a message relevant to our contemporary world, torn by religious conflicts and dissensions, and separated by high walls of sectarian dogmas.

One of the important contributions of Sri Ramakrishna is the reestablishment of the ideal of God realization in the modern world. In a world in which people’s faith in traditional religions has been considerably reduced by the relentless attack of the forces of atheism, materialism and scientific thinking, Sri Ramakrishna established the possibility of having direct experience of transcendent Reality. His life has enabled thousands of people to gain or regain faith in God and in the eternal verities of religion. As Mahatma Gandhi has stated: “No one can read the story of his life without being convinced that God alone is real and that all else is an illusion.”

Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine personality, people flocked to him from far and near — men and women, young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook.

Here is an incarnation whose life can harmonize all the apparently contradictory religious ideals, and the various national and social ideals of different races and countries, thus uniting humanity by the ties of love and toleration into a single brotherhood.

The Holy Mother Sarada Devi (1853- 1920)

Sri Sarada Devi, or the Holy Mother — as she is popularly called, was the illustrous consort of Sri Ramakrishna. To her came countless men and women seeking spiritual solace. By her maternal solicitude, winsome simplicity, and purity of character, she transformed the lives of many devotees. She nurtured the Ramakrishna Movement in its initial stages. In and through her Sri Ramakrishna sought to give India and the world a myriad-faceted gem of the ideal of womanhood at its noblest and best. We find in her life reincarnate all those ideals for which the greatest of Indian women stood for in the ages past — Sita's unswerving devotion and service to her lord through all the vicissitudes of fortune, Savitri's chastity and dauntlessness, Gargi's grasp of spiritual truths, and Maitreyi's scorn of wealth and yearning for Immortality.

Sri Ramakrishna recognized in Sri Sarada Devi the Divine Energy (Shakti) usually known as Divine Mother in Hinduism. This Divine Energy was manifested in and through Sri Sarada Devi for the welfare of the world. In Hinduism the Divine Mother represents a great spiritual power, a conscious and living power that acts in diverse ways and even takes a human form. Sri Ramakrishna believed that Sri Sarada Devi represented this very power. Sri Ramakrishna is considered by many to be the modern prophet of India. Sri Sarada Devi played a key role in continuing the work of this extraordinary religious teacher. She was an extraordinary teacher — a teacher that not only kindled the spiritual power of the disciples, but who also continued to help them until they attained liberation. She won their heart through her affectionate and loving nature. No one could escape her love and affection.

The outstanding virtues of Indian womanhood are courage, serenity, self-control, sweetness, compassion, wisdom, and an intuitive relationship with God. Holy Mother possessed all these virtues. Since the acquisition of such gifts is the dream of all women, Holy Mother may aptly be seen as the symbol of aspiration of women everywhere. As time passes, more and more people from all over the world, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and from diverse religious traditions, are taking an interest in understanding her, in knowing her, in discovering her supreme moral and spiritual excellence, and in coming in contact with her divine nature.

Swami Vivekananda(1863-1902)

Swami Vivekananda was a spiritual genius of commanding intellect and power whose inspiring personality is now well known all over the world. To introduce the life of Swami Vivekananda is to introduce the subject of spiritual life itself. All the intellectual struggle, all the doubts, all the burning faith, all the unfolding process of spiritual illumination were revealed in him. As a man and as a Vedantist he manifested the manliness that is sanctity, and the sanctity that is manliness; he manifested the patriot­ism that proceeds from the vision of the Dharma and the universality that comes when God is seen in everything; and through the true insight of divine wisdom, he lived a life of both intense activity and Supreme Realization. Indeed, his life revealed throughout, the glory of the supersensuous life. The unknown monk of India suddenly leapt into fame at the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, at which he represented Hinduism. His vast knowledge of Eastern and Western culture as well as his deep spiritual insight, fervid eloquence, brilliant conversation, broad human sympathy, colourful personality, and handsome figure made an irresistible appeal to the many types of Americans who came in contact with him. People who saw or heard Vivekananda even once still cherish his memory after a lapse of more than half a century.

In America Swami Vivekananda’s mission was the interpretation of India's spiritual culture, especially in its Vedantic setting. He also tried to enrich the religious consciousness of the Americans through the rational and humanistic teachings of the Vedanta philosophy. In America he became India's spiritual ambassador and pleaded eloquently for better understanding between India and the New World in order to create a healthy synthesis of East and West, of religion and science.

In his own motherland Vivekananda is regarded as the patriot saint of modern India and an inspirer of her dormant national consciousness, To the Hindus he preached the ideal of a strength-giving and man-making religion. Service to man as the visible manifestation of the Godhead was the special form of worship he advocated for the Indians, devoted as they were to the rituals and myths of their ancient faith. Many political leaders of India have publicly acknowledged their indebtedness to Swami Vivekananda.

The Swami's mission was both national and international. A lover of mankind, he strove to promote peace and human brotherhood on the spiritual foundation of the Vedantic Oneness of existence. A mystic of the highest order, Vivekananda had a direct and intuitive experience of Reality. He derived his ideas from that unfailing source of wisdom and often presented them in the soul-stirring language of poetry.

About Emblem

"The wavy waters in the picture are symbolic of Karma, the lotus of Bhakti, and the rising-sun of Jnana. The encircling serpent is indicative of Yoga and awakened Kunadalini Shakti, while the swan in the picture stands for Paramatman. Therefore, the ideal of the picture is that by the union of Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Yoga, the vision of the Paramatman is obtained"