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Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was born on 18th of this month in 1836 in a poor Brahmin family of Khudiram and Chandramani in Kamarpukur, West Bengal.  His early name was Gadadhar. He had a strong love for Nature and was frequently in company of sanyasis and would listen  to their religious views. When he was six years old, he saw a flock of snow-white cranes flying  and fell down with ecstasy. Gadadhar had a strong dislike for schooling and anything that is associated with worldly gains. But, for a living one has to find a job. Ramkumar, his elder brother was a temple priest in the temple of  Bhavatarini mata at Dakshineswar. After Ramkumar's retirement, Gadadhar took his place. While worshipping the goddess, at times he would cry loudly and weep bitterly.  At night, he would go to an isolated place and spend whole night praying. It was here that he attained enlightenment after an agonizing craving to see the Divine Mother face to face. Later, Sri Ramakrishna described his experience this way: "House, walls, doors, the temple-all disappeared into nothingness. Then I saw an ocean of light, limitless, living, conscious, blissful. From all sides waves of light, with a roaring sound, rushed towards me and engulfed and drowned me, and I lost awareness of outward things." He wanted to know what truths other religious systems taught. Teachers of those systems came to him and he reached the goals of those religious systems soon.

Soon rumors spread to that Gadadhar had become mentally derailed, and his widowed mother thought that a marriage might bring him back to realities of the world. Gadadhar did not object to the marriage but mentioned the name of a girl Sarada aged six, daughter of Ramchandra Mukherjee of a village three miles to the north-west of Kamarpukur.   He taught her everything he learnt and practiced. Their marriage was not of physical nature. Once  Sri Ramakrishna  said, 'I look upon you as my own mother and the Mother who is in the temple'. Ramakrishna was not like the gurus of today.  There was no secret or private time in his life. Ramakrishna's name spread for and wide.  Once an English professor mentioned Ramakrishna Paramahamsa while explaining the meaning of peace and self realisation. This made one Narendra to visit this strange, seemingly mad man of Dakshineshwar.  Narendra, later known as Swami Vivekananada, tested Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in many ways before he selected him as his Guru. Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was his contemporary and admirer. He taught through parables and metaphors. At times, he would enter a trance. He was the living example of morality and religion. He taught oneness of all religions. The day to day happenings have been recorded by His disciple, Mahendranath Gupta. Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa passed away due to  throat cancer on 18 August, 1886.
SRI RAMAKRISHNA JAYANTI
My God, in the human form
Master Mahasaya
Shri Mahendranath Gupta, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna is authentic recorder of Sri Ramakrishna’s profound teachings.

Master Mahasaya recorded his conversations in his diary with details of date, people present, topics etc., meticulously. After Paramahamsa's passing away, in 1897 Master Mahasaya published those notes in five elaborate volumes, “Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrut” in Bengali.
My grandfather used to tell me parables of Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa.   When I was ten, I used to rattle out all slokas of Bhagawadgeeta.  It did not cut much meaning, but the appreciation and prizes were enticing.  There was a small lesson about Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa in my Kannada text book. My teacher told me that Gadadhar fell down after he saw flying cranes.  I asked her, "Obviously, it is crazy.  Why should it be called a religious experience?  Then, what is a religious experience?" This teacher (May Lord bless her soul) took me to her husband, another good Samaritan.  He too could not satisfy me curiosity.  In turn, he took me to another learned person. This young man, who became the Principal of a college later on, introduced me to yet another unmarried English professor (latter on, he became a sanyasi). 
This English professor in pure Gandhian dress took me to an ashram of the followers of the man who fell down on seeing cranes! A small lesson in the text book and the great teachers brought a change into my life. I became a frequent visitor to Sriramakrishna Ashrama. After reading the book Sriramakrishna Vachanaveda (Kannada version of Gospel of Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa), I understood that Bhagawadgeeta does not mean memorising the slokas.

My humble suggesiton to you: Do not be satisfied with some pamphlet notes of miracle babas. Do not run behind offbeat mentors.
Go to the original and see for yourself. I urge you to read the book "Gospel of Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa".  This book is like the New Testament, as many parables and stories teach you most complex topics in lucidly.
If you have not understood Vedas, Upanishads, Bible, Koran or Bhagawadgeeta despite several readings, this book will teach you the meaning of all!  Is this such a great guide book?  I detest guide books. "Gospel of Sriramakrishna Paramahamsa" is a chronological record of dialogues and incidents spread over many years. This is as original as Bible! It is not about how one turned water into gasoline; it is not how certain guru kicked at the bottom (chakra) of a disciple to open his crown chakra in two days for a sum of Rs.700. Sriramakrishna nor Socrates nor Jesus did no miracles of that kind.  The book is pure knowledge and is equal to any holy book of any religion.
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