Ramakrishna was the master and the maker of Swami Vivekananda. When he first met Ramakrishna at the end of 1881, he was just Narendranath Datta, and it was Ramakrishna who turned him into Swami Vivekananda — the world teacher. Ramakrishna prepared Vivekananda to spread his spiritual message worldwide and Vivekananda spent his life to do the task assigned by his master. He told— “Naren will teach people”.
In this post, we’ll make a collection of Ramakrishna’s quotes on Swami Vivekananda.
- Much before the birth of Narendranath Datta (Narendranath was born on 12 January 1863), Ramakrishna reportedly had a dream, which he himself described in details—
One day I found my mind was soaring high in Samadhi along a luminous path. It soon transcended the stellar universe and entered the subtler region of ideas. As it ascended higher and higher I found on both sides on the way ideals forms of gods and goddesses. The mind then reached the outer limits of the region, where a luminous barrier separated the sphere of relative existence from that of the Absolute. Crossing that barrier, the mind entered the transcendental realm where no corporeal being was visible. Even the gods dared not peep into the sublime realm,but had to be content with keeping their seats far below. The next moment I found seven venerable sages seated there is Samadhi. It occurred to me that these sages must have surpassed not only men, but even the gods, in knowledge and holiness, in renunciation and love, Lost in admiration I was reflecting on their greatness, when I saw a portion of that undifferentiated luminous region condensed into the form of a divine child. The child came to one of the sages, tenderly clasped his neck with his lovely arms, and addressing him in a sweet voice attempted to drag his mind down from the state of Samadhi. The magic touch roused the sage from his superconscious state, and he fixed his unmoving, half-open gaze upon the wonderful child. His beaming countenance showed that the child must have been the treasure of his heart. In great joy the strange child said to him— “I am going down. You too must go with me.” The sage remained mute, but his tender look expressed his assent. As he kept gazing on the child, he was again immersed in Samadhi. I was surprised to find that a fragment of the sage’s body and mind was descending on earth in form of an effulgent light. No sooner had I seen Naren that I recognized him to be that sage.
Here Ramakrishna admitted that he identified Narendranath (Swami Vivekananda) as the divine child of his vision.
Ramakrishna considered Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath) as an embodiment of God (Narayana), and loved him like that. He compared Narendranath with “a thousand-petalled lotus” (সহস্রদল), “a jar of water”, “Halderpukur”, “a red-eyed carp” and “a very big receptacle”.
- Naren is Nitya-siddha, perfect in realisation even from his birth; Naren is a Dhyana-siddha, an adept in meditation; the roaring fire of knowledge, always ablaze in Naren, burns to ashes whatever impure food he may take. Impurity of food can never tarnish his pure mind. He is always cutting to pieces the veils of Maya with the sword of knowledge. The inscrutable Maya can never bring him under Her control.
- Every now and then I take stock of devotees. I find that some are like lotuses. some like those with a hundred petals; but among lotuses Narendra is a thousand-petalled one. Other devotees may be like pots or pitchers; but Narendra is a large water-barrel. Others may be like pools or tanks, but Narendra is a huge reservoir like the Haldarpukur. Among fish Narendra is a huge red-eyed carp; others are like minnows or smelts or sardines… Narendra is a very big receptacle, one that can hold many things. He is like a bamboo with a big hollow space inside. Narendra is not under the control of anything. He is not under the control of attachment or sense pleasures.[Source]
- Naren will pass away only of his own will. The moment he realises who he is, he will refuse to stay a moment longer in the body. The time will come when he will shake the world to its foundations through the strength of his intellectual and spiritual powers. I have prayed that the Divine Mother may keep this realisation of the Absolute veiled from Naren. There is much work to be done by him. But this veil is so thin,so very thin that it may give way at any time.[Source]
- Narendra belongs to a very high plane — the realm of the Absolute. He has a manly nature. Many devotees come here, but none can equal him.[Source]
- Swami Vivekananda’s quotes on Ramakrishna
- “Have you seen God?” — Vivekananda’s question to Ramakrishna
- Relationship between Ramakrishna and Vivekananda (Wikipedia)