Shri Rama Krishna Dev and his legacy:
Often a true worth of a person is not realized when he is still living and some even after the death. The human history is full of people who were not given their due accolades for their contribution to the humanity .The dead do not seek recognition and noble people are called noble because they do not seek accolades .They just do what they are capable of doing and thus fulfill their destiny.
By nature such great people are humble but they are like jewels wrapped in rags and shine through no matter how tattered the rag is.Through their long life of devotion to the cause of the poor, they win the hearts of people and take a permanent place in their esteem.
Such a great man was Shri Rama Krishna Dev. He was born in a village in Bengal in a poor family but got his education in a school run by a religious man who taught him all he knew and hoped that someday this eager young man will be able to earn a living somewhere somehow. The teacher did not know that the seed of knowledge he planted in that young boy would one day grow to make this young boy a future RamaKrishna Dev who will achieve a very high degree of spirituality as a poor priest in Dakshineshwar.
At that time in mid 1800s the queen RasmoniDevi decided to build a magnificent temple of Kali on the banks of the river Ganga in Dakshineswar outside Kolkata and looked for a priest. She did not have to wait long and saw in Shri RamKrishnaDev a level of spirituality she had never seen before.
But Ram KrishnaDev was not born to be just a priest of a famous temple and felt that his life was meant to be much more than the daily rituals of a temple priest. People called him mad priest because he would often roll in the dust and cry because the Goddess did not appear to him in person. However, his fame as a spiritual leader spread far and wide and strange ascetic sadhus started to come to Dakshineswar to give him their knowledge and learn from him what he could teach them in order to reach a higher level of religious knowledge. Sadhus are religious ascetics who renounce worldly life for the sake of spiritual one and wander all over the country never staying in one place .
Rama Krishna Dev often felt like Jesus and called out loud to his 12 disciples who had not yet heard of him but eventually would .One of them was Vivekananda whom Shri Rama Krishna Dev called his chosen one who had come to this world to fulfill the task of helping the poor.
Young Vivekananda was a skeptic and asked point blank if he meaning Rama Krishna Dev had seen the God to which he replied Yes I have seen the Goddess Kali and you have come to me through Her to fulfill the task She has chosen for you. The poor people need help and they are crying out for you. Set up schools and free hospitals for them, set up feeding programs and teach them some vocation so that they can earn a living. The young Vivekananda did not know how and when he will be able to do so but put all his faith in Shri Rama Krishna Dev.
After the young Vivekananda returned from the United States where he gained fame and the support of multitude of people, he laid the foundation of the Rama Krishna Mission in Belur that would grow to be the headquarter of the mission and would include a magnificent temple to honor Shri Rama Krishna Dev, a college of higher learning, an orphanage and many such institutions and open many chapters throughout India and abroad.
Vivekananda did not live to see the fruit of his effort because he died before he was 39 years of age in 1902 but always acknowledged that it was Shri Rama Krishna Dev who taught him everything he knew about the spirituality who opened his eyes to the problems of the poor and got his inspiration to do something about it.
Today the RamaKrishna Mission has grown nationwide and runs many schools,hospitals,orphanages and training centers. A magnificent temple has been built in Lucknow at the RKM center there. I will post a photo below of it. Below right is the Belur temple. I had the privilege to visit both. The swamiji of the Lucknow RK mission is a great man.
I call Shri Rama Krishna Dev my hero. He is in the hearts of millions of people so his place in history is secure as a great man.