Service to Man is Service to God
Sri Ramakrishna was born on 18 February 1836 in a poor and pious Brahmin family in Kamarpukur, a village sixty miles to the north-west of Kolkata. His parents were Kshudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandramani Devi. From His early boyhood Sri Ramakrishna was devoted to God and spiritual matters and showed lack of interest in worldly affairs. Hence he had only the rudiments of formal education. At the age of nineteen he was appointed a priest at the newly built Kali temple at Dakshineshwar in Kolkata. From then on for another eleven years he remained absorbed in the practice of various spiritual disciplines of Hinduism.
After attaining the highest goals of these disciplines, which included the experience of Advaita or non-dual state of consciousness, he turned to the spiritual paths of Islam and Christianity. These paths led him finally to the same ultimate Reality which he had earlier attained through the spiritual paths of Hinduism.Although Sri Ramakrishna had been ordained a monk, he lived like an ordinary person, and hardly left the precincts of the Kali temple.
The fame of his holiness began to spread, and disciples, mostly belonging to the educated middle class in Kolkata, began to gather around him. He trained some of his young disciples to become monks. The foremost among them was Swami Vivekananda. Sri Ramakrishna passed away on 16 August 1886 at the age of fifty years.