He looked just like an ordinary man, with nothing remarkable about him. He used the most simple language, and I thought, ‘Can this man be a great teacher?’ I crept near him and asked him the question which I had been asking others all my life: ‘Do you believe in God, sir?’ ‘Yes.’ `How can you?’ ‘Because I see Him just as I see you here, only in a much more intense sense.’ That impressed me at once. For the first time I found a person who dared to say that he saw God, that religion was a reality, to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world. I began to go to that man, day after day, and I actually saw that religion could be given. One touch, one glance, can change a whole life.
“In a recent and unique example, in the life of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa we see a colossal spiritual capacity first driving straight to the divine realization, taking, as it were, the Kingdom of Heaven by violence, and then seizing upon one Yoga method after another and extracting the substance out of it with an incredible rapidity, always to return to the heart of the whole matter, the realization and possession of God by the power of love, by the extension of inborn spirituality into various experience and by the spontaneous play of an intuitive knowledge. Such an example cannot be generalized. Its object also was special and temporal, to exemplify in the great and decisive experience of a Master-soul the truth, now most necessary to humanity, towards which a world long divided into jarring sects and schools is with difficulty laboring, that all sects are forms and fragments of a single integral truth and all disciplines labor in their different ways towards one supreme experience… Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is the epitome of the whole. His was the great super-conscious life which alone can witness to the infinitude of the current that bears us all oceanwards. He is the proof of the Power behind us, and the future before us.”
“Ramakrishna was a living embodiment of godliness. His sayings are not those of a mere learned man but they are pages from the Book of Life. They are revelations of his own experiences. They therefore leave on the reader an impression which he cannot resist. In this age of skepticism Ramakrishna presents an example of a bright and living faith which gives solace to thousands of men and women who would otherwise have remained without spiritual light. Ramakrishna’s life was an object-lesson in Ahimsa. His love knew no limits, geographical or otherwise. May his divine love be an inspiration to all.”
To the Paramahamsa Ramakrishna Deva
“Diverse courses of worship
from varied springs of fulfillment
have mingled in your meditation.
The manifold revelation of the joy of the Infinite
has given form to a shrine of unity in your life
where from far and near arrive salutations
to which I join my own.”
“Sri Ramakrishna was completely beyond the average run of men. He appears rather to belong to the tradition of the great rishis of India, who have come from time to time to turn our attention to the higher things of life and of the spirit.”
- Jawaharlal Nehru
“This is the story of a phenomenon. I will begin by calling him simply that rather than ‘holy man,’ ‘mystic,’ ‘saint,’ or ‘avatar;’ all emotive words with mixed associations which may attract some readers, repel others. A phenomenon is often something extraordinary and mysterious. Ramakrishna was extraordinary and mysterious; most of all to those who were best fitted to understand him. A phenomenon is always a fact, an object of experience. That is how I shall try to approach Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna’s life, being comparatively recent history, is well documented. In this respect, it has the advantage over the lives of other earlier phenomena of a like nature. I believe, or am at least strongly inclined to believe, that he was what his disciples declared that he was: an incarnation of God upon earth.”
- Christopher Isherwood
Web Sources for some quotes Sri Ramakrishna.org