On the 18th of February 1836, Sri Ramakrishna was born of poor Brahmin parents in Kamarpukur, one of the remote villages of Bengal, India. Even in poverty, his parents served themselves for others and earned respect and admiration of the villages for their charity and kindness. Both of them had a vision before the birth of Sri Ramakrishna that they would be blessed with a divine child. Of them, Sri Ramakrishna was born; and he was a peculiar child from very boyhood. He remembered his past from his birth, and was conscious for what purpose he came into the world. He often passed into deep trance or lost consciousness in ecstasy, which caused great anxiety to his parents and relatives.
He was sent to school, however, he was unmindful in his school studies. Instead, he spent great portion of his time in reading holy books. In 1843, his father died which brought a great economical burden to his family. His eldest brother, Ramkumar worried about his youngest brother's education and took him to Calcutta. However still, his aversion to academic education increased as days rolled on. Soon the idea dawned on him that he was destined to fulfil some great mission in life. The realization of God was to him the only purpose worthy of consideration and he resolved to give up study and devote himself solely to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. At that time, a rich widow of great piety named Rani Rasmani spent a fortune to found a temple to the great goddess Kali on the eastern bank of the Ganga at Dakshineswar. As she being a Shudra by caste, she was looking for a Brahmin to worship for a Shudrabefore the installation of the image of the Kali. She succeeded in getting Ramkumar as the priest of her temple; and Sri Ramakrishna also began to live with his brother there and became a priest.
In the temple, there was an image of the "Divine Mother". A thought captured him-"Is the Blissful Mother an imagination of poets and misguided people, or is there such a Reality?" This thought-whether God can be seen-which was uppermost in his mind gained in strength every day until he could think of nothing else. Days and nights passed. He had heard that the Mother never came until everything had been given up for Her. He threw away all the little property he had, and took a vow that he would never touch money. Any idea of material possession produced a terrible pain in his mind and body.The other idea that came into his mind was that lust was the other enemy. Man is a soul, and soul is sexless, neither man nor woman-"Every woman represents the Mother; how can I think of woman in mere sex relation?" He worshipped women and found the Blissful Mother in every woman. According to the custom, he had to marry at his young age to a girl-wife, Sarada Devi, who herself became one of the most sincere devotees of him and later became known as the 'Holy Mother' to the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna.
During the continuous struggling of finding the Truth, although many people thought he had gone mad, two Sannyasinis (religious teachers) came to teach him about the religions of India, the different practices of Yoga, and the philosophy of the Vedas. He studied about the various religions and sects genuinely and realized that the goal of every religion is the same and they are only quarrelling for their own purposes-they were not anxious about the Truth, but about "my name" and "your name". He also started serving for the Pariahs (a member of a very low social class in India), wiping and cleaning their place with his long hair-"Oh, my Mother, make me the servant of the Pariah, make me feel that I am even lower than the Pariah".
This rigorous, unsullied purity granted him jewels of spirituality; and he could finally feel the presence of the Divine Mother.He began his mission and went on preaching thousands of people with his intense love for mankind. He answered questions of them, twenty-four hours a day for months and months even when he was ill. When the news spread that his body was about to pass away, thousands of people gathered around him. OnAugust 16, 1886, he entered into Samadhi while repeating the most sacred word of the Vedas. His teachings and messages were spread out all over India by his disciples.