Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836 – 1886) was a Hindu mystic and saint from Bengal, considered by many devotees to have been an avatar, or divine incarnation. He experienced spontaneous mystical states from an early age; the first occurred when he was six years old. While walking by a paddy field, the sight of a flock of white cranes flying against a backdrop of dark thunder clouds sent him into a swoon of ecstasy. Although he moved easily between different religious traditions, he principally taught about love for the divine. His most influential student was Swami Vivekananda, who worked in the West in the early twentieth century. The following brief passages are from The Gospel of Ramakrishna.
Dive deep O mind,
dive deep in the ocean of God’s Beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of Love…
There are pearls in the deep sea, but one must hazard all to find them. If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to be rewarded in the end. So is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first attempt proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to realise Him at last.