Ramakrishna was a great saint, a great devotee of Goddess Kali, who used to have long conversations with the Goddess Kali, like son and mother.
Sri Ramkrishna was born on February 18, 1836 in Kamarpukur, Hoogli. He was the fourth child of his parents. Nicknamed as ‘Gadadhar’, he was a very eager and impatient, God fearing boy since childhood. He was deeply devoted to serve the divine mother, “Goddess Kali” from a young age. He was greatly inspired by the stories of Lord Krishna and tried to imitate his feats. As a child, he had matured understanding for his age, and earned the love of all.
Years rolled by and Gadadhar was now five years old. He began to show wonderful intelligence and memory, even at this early age. The precocious boy could recite the names of his 15 ancestors, the hymns to various gods and goddesses, prayers, shlokas and tales from the great national epics. As he grew, so did his eagerness. His parents sent him to the village school. At the school, Gadadhar made fair progress and directed all his attention to the study of the lives and characters of spiritual Gurus.
Without prejudice of caste:
Gadadhar was now nine, and it was time to invest him with the holy thread. A curious incident happened in this connection. It is the traditional custom in Brahmin family that just after the investiture, the newly initiated should accept his first alms from his family member, some relative or at least from a Brahmin of the same social standing. But Dhani, the blacksmith woman who had tended the child, had long ago prayed to Gadadhar to allow her the privilege of giving him the first Bhiksha (alms), and the boy, moved by her genuine love, had agreed. After the investiture ceremony was over, Gadadhar, in spite of the repeated objections from other members of the house, kept his promise and accepted his first alms from this Shudra woman, in contravention of the time honoured custom followed by the Brahmins. Once while playing the part of Shiva in the plays performed during Shivaratri festival, he attained ‘samadhi’.
His elder brother Ramkumar took him to Dakshineshwar to assist him in his work as priest in the temple. In 1855, Rani Rashmoni of Janbajar offered him the job as priest of Goddess Kali temple at Dakhshineshwar temple. Onlookers would crowd to see Ramkrishna perform puja as they wanted to see the love and devotion with which it was performed. Soon after, the urge to find eternal truth of life made him take sanyas under the Sage Totapuri who bestowed him with the title ‘Paramhansa.’