The spiritual career of the sixth president of the Ramakrishna Order a monk initiated by the Holy Mother and given the ochre robe by Swami Vivekananda throws a flood of light on the formative period of the Ramakrishna Movement.
Swami Brahmananda (1863 – 1922) was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna who regarded him as his spiritual son. Also known as Raja Maharaj or simply ‘Maharaj’, Swami Brahmananda was the first president of the Ramakrishna Order. A man of deep meditative temperament and down-to-earth wisdom and humour, Maharaj quietly carried the mantle of guiding the fledging Ramakrishna Order in its first 21 years as also provided spiritual guidance to numerous spiritual aspirants, monastic and lay, who came in touch with him.
Swami Ramakrishnananda or Shashi Maharaj was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. Having spent more than a decade in the Baranagore Math, the first monastery of Ramakrishna Order, Shashi Maharaj came to Madras in 1897 at the instance of Swami Vivekananda. Enduring many hardships and overcoming numerous obstacles, he founded the Ramakrishna Math at Mylapore in Madras. His unequalled devotion to Sri Ramakrishna, pure life, saintly personality, and love and concern for others left an indelible impression on all those who came in touch with him. This book contains the available reminiscences of the monks and devotees who came in touch with him. Besides reminiscences, the book has all the letters Swami Vivekananda wrote to Shashi Maharaj, as also several appendices. Enriched with numerous pictures of Shashi Maharaj and the places and people associated with him.
In the present age, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna has become a symbol of moral and spiritual perfection for men and women, for the married and the unmarried, for the householders as well as monks and nuns all over the world. This book comprises of Sri Sarada Devi's life and teachings in a detailed manner.
Madras or Chennai has a long association with the Ramakrishna Movement from its inception. It was the people of Madras who first recognized the genius of Swami Vivekananda. Apart from Swamiji, the Holy Mother, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda and eight other direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna too visited Madras on different occasions. The first monastery of the Ramakrishna Math in South India was started in Madras by Swami Ramakrishnananda. In the pages of this book the reader will find narrated these associations of the Great Ones with Madras.
Invitation to Holy Company is the work of a life long Sannyasin, recording his intimate experiences with ten of the direct monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, who may be designated as the Great Master’s Apostles. It is hoped that the study of these accounts will induce readers to learn more of these great direct disciples, about whom there is an abundance of good literature in English at present.
Swami Turiyananda, with whose life and teachings the present book is concerned, was a direct sannyasin disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. The Swami was closely associated with the Great Master during the last six years of his life, and afterwards he became one of the members of the small group of monastics who organized themselves in the Master’s name under the leadership of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Turiyananda was a rare combination of extreme asceticism, sympathy, devotional fervour, Sanskrit scholarship and modern outlook. Meditation was a pastime for him, and physical hardships and ailments had hardly any depressing effect on his mind. His unfailing spirit of dependence on God enabled him to face the uncertainties of a wandering mendicant’s life even in failing health and distressing conditions. He was an example of one who possessed a body but was not possessed by it. Though a scholar, he lived without the vanity of scholarship and preferred to teach through example.
This biography of Swami Shivananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, is our honest attempt to portray the life and work of this “Great Soul”—our humble and worshipful tribute to his sacred memory. For a number of years we had the blessed privilege of enjoying the Swami’s holy association, even as we received his fostering love and care. Our sketch is therefore the combined fruit of personal impressions and patient study and research. While delineating the Swami’s life and personality, we have tried to capture him in his many spiritual moods, keeping in view the typical man of God that he always was.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa Deva represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. He reached a depth of God consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings.Religion is not just a matter for study,it is something that has to be experienced and to be lived,and this is the field in which Sri Ramakrishna manifested his uniqueness…Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same goal. In the present-day world,threatened by divisive strife and religious intolerance, Sri Ramakrishna’s message of harmony and his belief in serving Man in order to serve God gives us hope and shows the way. SRI RAMAKRISHNA FOR YOU is a concise but comprehensive and profusely illustrated compilation of his timeless sayings, teachings and conversations along with recollections of his contemporaries and disciples and tributes from his admirers all of whom have been phenomenal thought leaders from across the world.
This volume is the book form of the special edition of the Vedanta Kesari brought out in December 2013 to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The volume contains inspiring and learned articles from people from various walks of life perceiving Swami Vivekananda as a great saint, thinker, scholar, educationist, organizer, nationalist, traveler, writer, poet, musician, cultural ambassador of India etc.
Here in these pages is given a vivid and realistic pen-picture of a unique personality—unique because she was nun, wife and mother at the same time. The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the divine consort of Sri Ramakrishna, is here presented, in all her rustic simplicity, which breaks the barriers of commonality by its artless naturalness inspired by a universal love which made no distinction between friend and foe, the small and the great, the ignorant and the wise, but enfolded every living being in the charming fragrance of motherliness that her personality exuded. Swami Saradeshananda, the recorder of these precious reminiscences, is a disciple of the Mother, who had opportunities to serve her very intimately and thus hear those conversations and witness those small events that took place in the village of Jayarambati. He has therefore drawn a pen-picture of the Mother with a wealth of details, thus giving a realistic presentation of the concept of Universal Motherhood in human terms.
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