Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886) attained God-realization through four different religious paths (Tantrism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity), each time meeting the same Absolute God - which prompted him to declare that all religions lead to the same God.
This Hindu Bengali Saint spent a lifetime seeking spiritual enlightenment, beginning in his childhood with a mystical encounter he experienced at the age of six. A temple priest at Dakshinesvar and a mystical devotee of Kali, became a source of religious renewal for a large number of Bengalis who met him during his lifetime.
Mahatma Gandhi said: "The story of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's life is a story of religion in practice. His life enables us to see God face to face." Romain Rolland wrote "Ramakrishna was a rare combination of individuality and universality, personality and impersonality. His word and example have been echoed in the hearts of Western men and women. His soul animates modern India." His influence was felt throughout the social life of Bengal, where he passed his life in continuation of the bhakti tradition so deeply rooted in that region.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said, when asked why God appears different when viewed by different religions, that "God is one, but many are His aspects." He went on to elaborate that response in allegorical terms. But he also said, "We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. Remain always strong and steadfast in thine own faith, but eschew all bigotry and intolerance."