Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna noted that God-realisation is the supreme goal of all living beings.[1] Ramakrishna's mystical experiences through different religions led him to teach that various religions are different means to reach absolute knowledge and bliss—and that the different religions cannot express the totality of absolute truth, but can express aspects of it.[2]

[1] - Kathamrita

[2]- Flood, Gavin (1996). An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 256–257ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0.

Harmony of Religions

Regarding Harmony of Religions, Ramakrishna said, "I have practised all religions—Hinduism, Islam, Christianity—and I have also followed the paths of the different Hindu sects. I have found that it is the same God toward whom all are directing their steps, though along different paths. You must try all beliefs and traverse all the different ways once. Wherever I look, I see men quarrelling in the name of religion—Hindus, Mohammedans, Brahmos, Vaishnavas, and the rest. But they never reflect that He who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well—the same Rama with a thousand names..."

Rolland, Romain (1929). "The Return to Man". The Life of Ramakrishna. pp. 49–62. ISBN 81-85301-44

Parables of Sri Ramakrishna

The Parable of the Greatest Devotee:

Once upon a time conceit entered into the heart of Narada and he thought there was no greater devotee than himself. Reading his heart, the Lord said, "Narada, go to such and such a place, a great devotee of mine is living there. Cultivate his acquaintance; for he is truly devoted to me." Narada went there and found a farmer who rose early in the morning, pronounced the name of Hari (God) only once, and taking his plough, went out and tilled the ground all day long. At night,. he went to bed after pronouncing the name of Hari once more. Narada said to himself "How can this rustic be a lover of God? I see him busily engaged in worldly duties and he has no signs of a pious man about him." Then Narada went back to the Lord, and spoke what he thought of his new acquaintance. There upon the Lord said, "Narada, take this cup of oil and go round this city and come back with it. But take care that you do not spill even a single drop of it." Narada did as he was told, and on his return the Lord asked him, "Well, Narada, how many times did you remember me in the course of your walk round the city?" "Not once, my Lord," said Narada, "and how could I, when I had to watch this cup brimming over with oil?" The Lord then said, "This one cup of oil did so divert your attention that even you did forget me altogether. But look at that rustic, who, though carrying the heavy burden of a family, still remembers me twice every day."

Studies on Sri Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (Original from the University of Michigan). 1988. p. 109

The Parable of the Pandit who could not swim:

Once several men were crossing the Ganges in a boat. One of them, a pandit, was making a great display of his erudition, saying that he has studied various books—the Vedas, the Vedanta, the six systems of philosophy. He asked a fellow passenger, 'Do you know the Vedanta?' 'No, revered sir.' 'The Samkhya and the Patanjala?' 'No, revered sir.' 'Have you read no philosophy whatsoever?' 'No, revered sir.' The pandit was talking in this vain way and the passenger sitting in silence, when a great storm arose and the boat was about to sink. The passenger said to the pandit, 'Sir, can you swim?' 'No', replied the pundit. The passenger said, 'I don't know the Samkhya or the Patanjala, but I can swim.'

"The Master and his Injured Arm". The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.