Then it was that Sri Ramakrishna incarnated himself in India in order to demonstrate what the true religion of the Aryan race is; to show where amidst all its many divisions and offshoots, scattered over the land in the course of its immemorial history, lies the true unity of the Hindu religion, which by its overwhelming number of sects discordant to superficial view, quarrelling constantly with each other and abounding in customs divergent in every way, has constituted itself a misleading enigma for our countrymen and the butt of contempt for foreigners; and above all, to hold up before us, for our lasting welfare, as a living embodiment of the Sanatana Dharma, his own wonderful life into which he infused the universal spirit and character of this Dharma, so long cast into oblivion by the process of time.
In order to show how the Vedic truths--eternally existent as the instrument with the Creator in His work of creation, preservation, and dissolution--reveal themselves spontaneously in the minds of the Rishis purified from all impressions of worldly attachment, and because such verification and confirmation of the scriptural truths will help the revival, reinstatement, and spread of religion--the Divine, though the very embodiment of the Vedas, in this His new incarnation has thoroughly discarded all external forms of learning.
That the Divine incarnates again and again in human form for the protection of the Vedas or the true religion, and of Brahminhood or the ministry of that religion--is a doctrine well established in the Puranas etc.
The waters of a river falling in a cataract acquire greater velocity, the rising wave after a hollow swells higher; so after every spell of decline, the Aryan society recovering from all the evils by the merciful dispensation of Providence has risen the more glorious and powerful--such is the testimony of history.
After rising from every fall, our revived society is expressing more and more its innate eternal perfection, and so also the omnipresent Divine Being in each successive incarnation is manifesting Himself more and more.
Again and again has our country fallen into a swoon, as it were, and again and again has the Divine Being, by the manifestation of Himself, revivified her.
But greater than the present deep dismal night, now almost over, no pall of darkness had ever before enveloped this holy land of ours. And compared with the depth of this fall, all previous falls appear like little hoof-marks.
Therefore, before the effulgence of this new awakening, the glory of all past revivals in her history will pale like stars before the rising sun; and compared with this mighty manifestation of renewed strength, all the many past epochs of such restoration will be as child's play.
The various constituent ideals of the Religion Eternal, during its present state of decline, have been lying scattered here and there for want of competent people to realize them--some being preserved partially among small sects and some completely lost.
But strong in the strength of this new spiritual renaissance, people—after reorganizing these scattered and disconnected spiritual ideals—will be able to comprehend and practice them in their own lives and also to recover from oblivion those that are lost. And as the sure pledge of this glorious future, the all-merciful Divine Being has manifested in the present age, as stated above, an incarnation which in point of completeness in revelation, its synthetic harmonizing of all ideals, and its promoting of every sphere of spiritual culture, surpasses the manifestations of all past ages.
So at the very dawn of this momentous epoch, the reconciliation of all aspects and ideals of religious thought and worship is being proclaimed; this boundless, all-embracing idea had been lying inherent, but so long concealed, in the Religion Eternal and its scriptures, and now rediscovered, it is being declared to humanity in a trumpet voice.
This epochal new dispensation is the harbinger of great good to the whole world, specially to India; and the inspirer of this dispensation, Sri Ramakrishna, is the reformed and remodeled manifestation of all the past great epoch-makers in religion. Have faith in this and lay it to heart.
The dead never return; the past night does not reappear; a spent-up tidal wave does not rise anew; neither does a person inhabit the same body over again. So from the worship of the dead past, we invite you all to the worship of the living present; from the regretful brooding over bygones, we invite you to the activities of the present; from the waste of energy in retracing lost and demolished pathways, we call you back to broad new-laid highways lying very near. Those that are wise, let them understand.
Of that power, which at the very first impulse has roused distant echoes from all the four quarters of the globe, conceive in your mind the manifestation in its fullness; and discarding all idle misgivings, weaknesses, and the jealousies characteristic of enslaved peoples, come and help in the turning of this mighty wheel of the new dispensation!
With the conviction firmly rooted in your heart that you are the servants of the Lord, His children, helpers in the fulfillment of His purpose, enter the arena of work.