Spirituality of Rabindranath Tagore, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore's spirituality, focused on the indwelling presence of God," leads human existence from partiality to fullness.”

In"The Spirituality of Rabindranath Tagore: 'The Religion of an Artist,'"Sitansu Sekhar Chakravarti explores the spiritual dimension of one who has been a poet, a novelist, an educator, and a social reformer. According to Chakravarti, spirituality for Rabindranath Tagore is the dynamic principle that touches every aspect of life and is the guiding principle that"leads human existence from partiality to fullness.”Life's journey, for Tagore, achieves its fulfillment through the creative interaction of an artist or a poet, and not through renunciation of the world. He characterizes his spirituality as that of an artist. This implies a change in one's attitude to the world; one should move away from an egoistic appropriation of the world, which results in experiences of the world as a source of suffering and happiness, to an artistic experience of the world, where it is the source of unconditional joy (ananda). Tagore writes, "Joy flows through the universe, / The sun and moon drink of it / A full measure. / The light of the joy of goodness / Stays ever effulgent... Why are you all by yourself, confined to / Your own ego?” Integral to the spirituality of Tagore is the Upanishad notion that everything is Brahman, and Brahman is blissful. Tagore was also influenced by the Vaisnava and Baul traditions, which focused on the indwelling presence of God. Thus, in many of his writings Tagore stresses the need to respond to the call from within, from"The man of the heart.”The relationship between the man of the heart and the individual is very intimate. The intimacy is often described as the relationship of the lover and the beloved. It is this inner intimacy that also enables one to experience unity with the external world. According to Chakravati, it is this unitive experience of the inner and the outer that characterizes the religion of an artist, and this is indeed the very core of the spirituality of Rabindranath Tagore.”

Hindu Spirituality (Vol.II): Post Classical and Modern, pages xxvi
K R Sundarajan and Bithika Mukerji
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 2003
ISBN: 8120819373

Ramakrishna, convinced that"Brahman and Sakti are identical", invites us all to participate in the divine play with spontaneity and joy as Her children.

"In chapter 15," Sri Ramakrishna: At Play in His Mother's Mansion," Walter Neevel explores the spiritual dimensions of a mystic from Bengal who has remained highly influential in the modern and contemporary phases of Hindu self-understanding. Neevel focuses on the"mother-child"relationship as the very core of Ramakrishna's mystical dimension, when this relationship, instead of becoming "regressive or pathological," remains a source of"creative experiencing," which is"seen most clearly in the spontaneous and joyful play of a young child while her or his mother is close at hand.”The notion of Divine Mother is an essential aspect of the spirituality of Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna's mystical experiences seem to authenticate both"Brahman with attributes" (saguna Brahman) and"Brahman without attributes" (nirguna Brahman), a point that has divided the followers of different Vedantic schools.”The eternal, unchanging, formless Brahman ... is real, but so is the dynamic Sakti at play.”Ramakrishna says: "Brahman and Sakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other. It is like fire and its power to burn.... One cannot think of the Absolute without the Relative, or the Relative without the Absolute.”According to Neeval, Ramakrishna's ideal was not jnani but vijnana, or"full knowledge," which realizes the reality of both Brahman and Sakti, of both the eternal (nitya) and the Play (lila) aspects of the one that becomes all. It is in the affirmation of non-dual Brahman and the affirmation of the reality of the manifold world as creative expressions of Sakti that we find Ramakrishna moving away from the traditional Vedantic formulations. Highlighting the theme of creation as the Play (lila) of the Divine Mother (Sakti), Ramakrishna seems to invite us all to participate in the divine play with spontaneity and joy as Her children.”

Hindu Spirituality (Vol.II): Post Classical and Modern, pages xxvi-xxv
K R Sundarajan and Bithika Mukerji
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 2003
ISBN: 8120819373

For Vivekananda, one of the central features of Hindu religion is its emphasis on"direct experience"of the ultimate Reality

"In the chapter on the spirituality of Swami Vivekananda, Anantanand Rambachan explores the spiritual dimensions of one of the most influential interpreters of Hindu tradition in recent times. "Vivekananda was the first to offer to the Western world a detailed and systematic exposition of some of the central claims of the Hindu tradition.”His participation in the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions constitutes one of the landmarks in the history of modern Hinduism; at this time Hinduism came to assume a mission for the world with a spiritual message of universal relevance and meaning. For Vivekananda, one of the central features of Hindu religion is its emphasis on"direct experience"of the ultimate Reality. Religion is to be realized, not simply to be heard or repeated like a parrot, and there is a diversity of spiritual paths to direct, personal experience of the ultimate Reality... On the theme of diversity of religions, Vivekananda holds the view that all religions are true and meaningful since they are diverse expressions of the same Reality and appropriations of one Ultimate Truth. The goal of all religions, Vivekananda points out, is a"final unitive experience," which for him is highlighted in the Hindu philosophical school of Advaita Vedanta. Thus, for Swami Vivekananda, the advaitic experience (nondualistic experience) is the final goal toward which all religions are progressing, representing different points along the journey, a"staircase model"by which he is able to advocate tolerance, reject claims of exclusivism, and affirm the relative importance of various religious traditions of the world. The important contribution of Vivekananda is that in the face of the Christian exclusivism of his times, he affirmed that Hinduism included a variety of independent ways of liberation, and that Hindu spirituality, especially in its Advaitic form, had global significance and relevance.”

Hindu Spirituality (Vol.II): Post Classical and Modern, pages xxv-xxvi
K R Sundarajan and Bithika Mukerji
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 2003
ISBN: 8120819373

Shri Mataji: “What Christ said, what Krishna said, and what Muhammad said is nothing but Advaita, that you have to become One with God.”

The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
“But today the time has come where thousands can get their realization and can be established because the Last Judgment has started. The Last Judgment is going to be through Kundalini awakening, as if Kundalini is the pointer in the balance. It has started! People are not aware it has started! They do not want to be judged as yet, but time should not be lost.

But this Judgment is so beautiful that when you are judged you get powers of your own, of your love; you enjoy the bliss of your Spirit; you become so peaceful, all the tensions disappear; you become so dynamic and the blessings of all the well-beings come on you. As Krishna has said "Yogakshema.” First the yoga then the kshema. Kshema is well-being. If you have not achieved your yoga the kshema is not bothered.

People say I am preaching Advaita of Shankaracharya. Of course, it is the same, whether it is Shri Sankaracharya or anybody. I am doing that. Only he was preaching, I am doing it.

What Christ said, what Krishna said, and what Muhammad said is nothing but Advaita, that"you have to become One with God.” But there are many who do not like it, they want to have dvaita, they want to keep their personalities, so-called, with them. I asked the other day one gentleman who was a minister and all that. I said"What do you want to keep that? What, which part?”He said"Not my ego.”I said"What is it then? It is that only. You want to keep back your ego.”

Unless and until you become big you cannot evolve. And how do you become big? — by becoming the Ocean yourself. A small drop becomes an ocean, as long as he becomes One with the Ocean. You become One with the awareness of God. This is what Christ has said," You have to be born again.”Is said by everyone. Moses has said it, everyone has said it but people are telling you"No, no, no, no. That should not be done"because these middle agencies will be losing their income. How will they exist without it?

Try to see these points. Achieve your own powers of Love; achieve your Self, become your Self. If you want it you can have it, but if you don't want nobody can force this. Nobody can take away your freedom. If you want to remain as you are, you are left with that; then you face it up and live with it.

But if you want the ultimate, the absolute, it is there. That's the only way you can get rid of your confusions and get rid of all your ideas of relative existence — political, economic and everything can be only dissolved through achievement of your absolute. Because after realization you can feel, you can ask any absolute question. For example, if you want to ask the question"Is there God?”, immediately the Cool Breeze starts coming out. Tremendous! The answer comes as if like a computer you start working out because you are put to the mains.

So it is necessary for the whole humanity to pay attention today because the time is coming when the sorting out will take place. That time nobody is going to persuade, or tell you and fill the halls and request you. The sorting out will be there. Better get it now and establish it. Whole humanity has to be saved. No use doing patchwork. Do something substantial. Substantial is only possible if you go to the roots of this Tree of Life and nourish it, enlighten it. That is the only way one can work it out. May God bless you all.”

The Paraclete Shri Mataji Achieving Truth, May 25, 1980

The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
"So, this is what it is - simply, that you are integrated. By integration you get the power to do what you understand, and you have the power to feel happy with what you understand. So you come to a state where you develop this 'niranand'. And you develop this niranand when you are absolutely the Spirit. In the niranand state there's no duality left — it's advaita; it's one personality. That is, you are completely integrated and the joy is not anymore dented; it's complete. It hasn't got a happiness and a sorrow aspect, but is just joy. The joy is not that you laugh aloud; the joy is not that you are always smiling. "No, it's the stillness, the quietude within yourself, the peace of your being, of your Spirit, that asserts itself into vibrations which you feel - that when you feel that peace, you feel like the light of the sun, the whole rays of that beauty spreading.”

The Paraclete Shri Mataji V3.15 May.83.p10

The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
"What is the essence of Religion? The essence of Religion is to know God, the Almighty. And one can never know the Almighty unless one knows the Spirit, for it is His reflection in man, and only through it can one know Him. When it awakens to assume it's seat in the Sahasrara of the Cosmos one becomes One with Him. It is the goal of all ascent, and without it ascent has no meaning, is sterile and deprived of essence, for we should know we are by His desire created and made to become, and remain One, part and parcel with Him. To deny the Unity of the Creator and His Creation, is an escape of the ego and those possessed by it. It is an escape of the individual and a denial of the Advaita nature of the Creation.”

The Paraclete Shri Mataji Y.1.v.2 March 81 p6

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The spirituality of Rabindranath Tagore, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda

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