The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 7/Notes Of Class Talks And Lectures/Shri Ramakrishna: The Nation's Ideal
In order that a nation may rise, it must have a high ideal. Now, that ideal is, of course, the abstract Brahman. But as you all cannot be inspired by an abstract ideal, you must have a personal ideal. You have got that, in the person of Shri Ramakrishna. The reason why other personages cannot be our ideal now is, that their days are gone; and in order that Vedanta may come to everyone, there must be a person who is in sympathy with the present generation. This is fulfilled in Shri Ramakrishna. So now you should place him before everyone. Whether one accepts him as a Sadhu or an Avatara does not matter.
He said he would come once more with us. Then, I think, he will embrace Videha - mukti (Absolute Emancipation). If you wish to work, you must have such an Ishta - devata, or Guardian Angel, as the Christian nations call it. I sometimes imagine that different nations have different Ishta - devatas, and these are each trying for supremacy. Sometimes I fancy, such an Ishta - devata becomes powerless to do service to a nation.