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Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play Hardcover – Import, 1 Jan 2003
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Sri Ramakrishna('s). . .life remains a guide and inspiration to millions on their spiritual path.
-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Swami Chetananandas long-awaited translation . . .is an epic event in the unfolding saga of world spirituality.
-- Huston Smith, author of The Worlds Religions and Why Religion Matters
This extraordinary literary work communicates a real sense of Ramakrishna, his life and times.
-- Francis Clooney, S.J., Theology Department, Boston College
About the Author
About the Author
Swami Saradananda was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. He shared his last years and helped to nurse him through his final illness. Later he became a monk in the new monastic order and its first Secretary.
About the Translator
Swami Chetanananda Swami Chetanananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order of Indai, an author, and a spiritual teacher with students all over the world. He is the minister-in-charge of the Vedanta Society of St. Louis. He has written and translated more than two dozen books about the spiritual life, and he has been teaching and writing about Vedanta in the United States for more than three of his four-plus decades as a monk. Swami Chetanananda has collaborated in his writing with Huston Smith and Christopher Isherwood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
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So writes His Holiness the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhists. The Dalai Lama is well-known in the United States; Ramakrishna is not. This biography, a faithful translation from the Indian Bengali, will serve as history's correction to all who take a devout and detailed pilgrimage through its pages.
The Hindu priest Ramakrishna (1836-1886) was, by many of his contemporaries as well as those who knew him only distantly in time and place, regarded as a living incarnation of God. At the least, he graces the company of saints. His message was one of
liberation -- from superstition, fear, and religious intolerance -- and of unity -- a unity of all creation as an expression of the holy.
In his brief 50 years of life, he attracted and inspired a generation of young Indians, led by Swami Vivekananda who went on with the other 15 original disciples to form the Ramakrishna Order and to spread its teachings through India, Europe, and the United States.
The life of Ramakrishna was first recorded by Swami Saradananda (1865-1927), and is now translated into English by Swami Chetanananda, minister of the Vedanta Society of St. Louis.
Swami Saradananda cared for Ramakrishna during his final illness and later became a monk in the new religious order. He was admirably situated to know the principals, to converse with them, and to record their reminiscences. He spoke with many who had known Ramakrishna from his humble birth in the little village of Kamarpukur, through his service in the Temple at Dakshineswar on the Ganges River, until his death of cancer near Calcutta in 1886.
Seven years in preparation, this translation of Ramakrishna's life story takes its place as the authentic, factual, descriptive, interpretive, and comprehensive biography of a spiritual giant. The book includes a biography of Swami Saradananda, a detailed listing of chapter contents, a chronology of Ramakrishna's life, a glossary, and an index. Over 100 illustrations, many in full color, bring to life the characters and locations of the book.
While Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play will undoubtedly serve as the scholarly resource on Ramakrishna for generations to come, it is a highly readable and engrossing story, well within the understanding of the average reader. Its 1,000-plus pages should not discourage anyone who seeks spiritual nourishment of the highest order.