Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836 - 1886), the messiah, the prophet of the modern age, who was no scholar but only a man of superlative faith. From him came the authentic proclamation to the entire world that what lies behind the various religions of the world is a single Reality. Without any sophisticated education, he was able to influence the greatest intellectuals of his time, even the most westernized in their thought process. Coming in the direct line of Chaitanya, he would frequently pass into ecstasy, even at the mention of God's name by somebody in his presence. What is most important for all humanity is the inexhaustible fund of conversation with him that his disciples have preserved for us, through which, by suitable parables and allegories, he explains the most abstruse truths of the complex religion that is Hinduism and its central cord of unity with other faiths, of which he had personal experience through experimentation. He represented all the facets of Hindu religion in his own person. His life itself was a unique synthesis of all higher thinking in the spiritual levels of the world. He is the gift of Hinduism to posterity.
Swami Vivekananda (1863 - 1902) who was Ramakrishna's unique gift to posterity and who carried the message of his Master to every part of the world in a drmatic fashion and in the process of institutionalizing it gave also a spiritual bias to Indian nationalism.
Aurobindo (1872 - 1950). The greatest exponent of the integral spiritual ideal taught in the Rig Veda, the early Upanishads and the Gita. Author of the magnum opus of twentieth century original writing, 'The Life Divine' and of the poetic counterpart of this, called 'Savitri', a poem twice as long as Paradise Lost. In these and in numerous other writings of his, he teaches a profoundly spiritual process called Integral Yoga. He has left innumerable records of his mystic experimentations which surpass the grandest sophistications which modern science and mathematics can muster. The aim was to reaffirm the integral view of life set forth in the scriptures and free the ancient saadhanaa from the limitations and symbolism of any particular theology so that all humanity may avail of it to reach a higher plane of spiritual evolution.The Ashram that he founded at Pondichery has an international following.
The Mother (1878 - 1973) who guided the Aurobindo Ashram ever since Aurobindo made himself unavailable for public interaction and continued the shower of Grace on the Finite Minds which chose to raise their hands to reach the Infinite.
Dr. Annie Besant (1837 - 1934) whose interpretations of the ancient scriptures of India came just at the right time when Science was making some of the greatest breakthroughs of the twentieth century and, when, to the ordinary layman, it appeared as if the issue of Science vs. Spirituality was getting more and more clouded.
Swami Sivananda (1887 - 1963), who, by his mesmerizing propagation of ancient spiritual habits of life, pioneered the modern practice of running residential courses on Hinduism, in the sylvan atmosphere of the Himalayan slopes.
February 4, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy
Homepage Overview Beginning of this Section Previous Page