In this way,
Sri Ramakrishna realized his identity with Christ, as he had already realized his identity with Kali (Divine Mother), Rama, Hanuman, Radha, Krishna, Brahman (Absolute Ocean of Consciousness), and Mohammed.
Thus he experienced the truth that Christianity, too, was a path leading to God-Consciousness. Till the last moment of his life he believed that Christ was an Incarnation of God. But Christ, for him, was not the only Incarnation; there were others – Buddha, for instance, and Krishna.
- Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by Mahendranath Gupta (“M”): (Chapter: Introduction).
Now, after reading this account, two interesting questions naturally arise:
#1: What Exactly is Signified by Christ’s Merging into the Body of Sri Ramakrishna?
The vision of Jesus disappearing into the body of Sri Ramakrishna, is representative of a tremendous spiritual fact. And that is – that the individual soul of Sri Ramakrishna, after following the path of Christianity, had expanded to the same state of consciousness as that attained by Christ. In other words, Sri Ramakrishna had reached Christ-Consciousness, i.e. his individual soul had expanded and became one (merged) with Christ’s.
In this state of expanded Christ-Consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the same ocean of God (Sat-Chit-Ananda) that he had previously reached, by following the Hindu spiritual practice of worshiping the Divine Mother Kali. And hence he was able to conclude that the religion of Christianity too led to the same ocean of God-consciousness.
“I see people who talk about religion constantly quarrelling with one another. Hindus, Mussalmans (Muslims), Brahmos, Shaktas, Vaishnavas, Saivas, all quarrel with one another. They haven’t the intelligence to understand that He who is called Krishna is also Shiva and the Primal Sakti (Kali), and that it is He, again, who is called Jesus and Allah. There is only one Rama and He has a thousand names.”
- Sri Ramakrishna speaking to his disciples as recorded in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Chapter 21 – A Day at Dakshineswar) by Mahendranath Gupta (“M”).
#2: What Did Jesus Look Like? The Answer Given by Sri Ramakrishna
Many years after this incident, Sri Ramakrishna was conversing with his disciples, when this topic of Christ once more came up:
(Sri Ramakrishna asked:) “Well, boys, you have read the Bible; can you tell me what is written in it about the physical features of Jesus? How did he look?”
We said, “Sir, we have not seen this mentioned anywhere in the Bible; but as he was born a Jew, he must have been very fair in complexion, with long eyes and an aquiline nose to be sure.”
When told so, the Master said, “But I saw that the tip of his nose was a little flat; I don’t know why I saw him like that.” Though we did not then say anything about what the Master said, we thought, “How could the form seen by him in ecstasy (Bhav Samadhi) tally with the actual form of Jesus? Like all the Jews he too must have had an aquiline nose.”
But we came to know, shortly after the Master passed away, that there were three different descriptions of Jesus’ physical features; and according to one of them the tip of his nose was a little flat.
- Swami Saradananda recounting his guru’s conversation, in his book Sri Ramakrishna the Great Master, page 416.
Om Namah Shivay
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