The life of Shri Ramakrishna was an extraordinary searchlight under whose illumination one is able to really understand the whole scope of Hindu religion. He was the object-lesson of all the theoretical knowledge given in the Shastras (scriptures). He showed by his life what the Rishis and Avataras really wanted to teach. The books were theories, he was the realisation. This man had in fifty-one years lived the five thousand years of national spiritual life and so raised himself to be an object lesson for future generations. The Vedas can only be explained and the Shastras reconciled by his theory of Avastha or stages — that we must not only tolerate others, but positively embrace them, and that truth is the basis of all religions. Now on these lines, a most impressive and beautiful life can be written. Well, everything in good time.
(p. 52, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji’s letter to Alasinga dt. 30th November 1894)