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Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play

 

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Ramakrishna as We Saw Him – 2nd Edition Mahendra Nath Gupta (M.) Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play by Swami Saradananda Ramakrishna As We Saw Him God Lived with Them They Lived With God How to Live with God Sri Ramakrishna: A Biography in Pictures Sri Sarada Devi: A Biography in Pictures Vivekananda: East Meets West Meditation and Its Methods: by Swami Vivekananda A Guide to Spiritual Life Spiritual Treasures: Letters of Swami Turiyananda How a Shepherd Boy Became a Saint Avadhuta Gita: The Song of the Ever-Free Girish Chandra Ghosh Methods of Knowledge: According to Advaita Vedanta The Goal and the Way The Universe, God, and God-Realization Sri Ramakrishna's Life and Message in the Present Age Swami Vivekananda's Contribution to the Present Age Meditation: Its Process, Practice and Culmination Hinduism and Christianity Vedanta For All Mind According to Vedanta

 

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 Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play (Ramakrishna Institute of Culture, Sep 10, 2016)

Sri Sarada Devi and Her Divine Play Sw Chetanananda

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 Bhagavatam (Bhubaneswar, August 24, 2016)

Bhagavatam Sw Chetanananda

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 International Seminar (Belur Math January 28, 2014)

Presidential Address Sw Chetanananda

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Thursday
Mar222012

 Ramakrishna as We Saw Him – 2nd Edition, Revised and Enlarged
With 5 New Reminiscences
edited and translated by Swami Chetanananda

Paperback. 572 pages. ISBN 978-0-916356-97-2


 

$22.95    Add to Cart  View Cart

The revised edition has new reminiscences by Swami Yogananda, Swami Subodhananda, Ramendra Sundar Bhattacharya, Narayan Chandra Ghosh, and Trailokya Nath Dev, as well as additional information in Ramlal Chattopadhyay’s chapter. These new, eyewitness accounts are not found in Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play or The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. A total of 45 reminiscences by persons who knew him, show vividly how Sri Ramakrishna lived daily the spiritual message he taught, and how he excelled in opening a path for God into the human heart.

  


Reviews

The soul of Ramakrishna comes through splendidly in these deeply felt pages. 
The Book Reader 

For the first time I found a man who dared to say that he had seen God, that religion was a reality to be felt, to be sensed in an infinitely more intense way than we can sense the world." So said Swami Vivekananda of Sri Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna as We Saw Him is a collection of writings by 45 persons who actually knew him in one capacity or another: his wife Sri Sarada Devi, monastic disciples, friends, even acquaintances who had met him only a few times. No matter in what category the writer falls, each makes it very clear that Ramakrishna could, by his very presence, affect fundamental change in a person’s spiritual life. 
Booklist 


Chetanananda’s meticulously researched, lucidly written encounters — ranging from Vivekananda to M. (the recorder of the Gospel) and beyond — evoke the encompassing love of the Master as the core of all spirituality. No wonder one of these admirers describes Sri Ramakrishna’s company as sheer ‘fun’. Chetanananda’s vivid, exquisite art of narration makes the readers see the myriad aspects of this joy which the disciples saw as the essence of their Master’s life itself: an evident affirmation of what he, with such disarming simplicity, taught.

- M. Sivaramkrishna, Former Chair, Dept. of English, Osmania University, Hyderabad


What this book serves is to show, as close as we can after the fact, what it was like to actually be around this unique man, to talk to him, to serve him food, to play with him, to sing and dance with him, to worship him, to cry with him, to celebrate God with him. Indeed, the feeling of spiritual joy is so strong here that, though he died from cancer of the throat, the life of Sri Ramakrishna seems to be the ultimate happy movie, a true story of perfect love and bliss many times more beautiful than the wildest Hollywood fantasy. 
Meditation Magazine 

Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Biographical Introduction


I. Relatives and Monastic Disciples

 

1. Sri Sarada Devi

2. Lakshmi Devi

3. Ramlal Chattopadhyay

4. Swami Vivekananda

5. Swami Brahmananda

6. Swami Adbhutananda

7. Swami Premananda

8. Swami Yogananda

9. Swami Shivananda

10. Swami Ramakrishnananda

11. Swami Saradananda

12. Swami Turiyananda

13. Swami Abhedananda

14. Swami Akhandananda

15. Swami Vijnanananda

16. Swami Trigunatitananda

17. Swami Subodhananda

 

II. Householder Disciples and Devotees

 

18. Ram Chandra Datta

19. Manomohan Mitra

20. M. (Mahendra Nath Gupta)

21. Girish Chandra Ghosh

22. Vaikuntha Nath Sanyal

23. Yogin-ma (Yogindra Mohini Biswas)

24. Golap-ma (Golap Sundari Devi)

25. Nistarini Ghosh

26. Kedarnath Bandyopadhyay

27. Manmatha Nath Ghosh

28. Bepin Behari Sen

29. Manindra Krishna Gupta

30. Ramendra Sundar Bhattacharya

31. Narayan Chandra Ghosh

 

III. Brahmo Devotees and Admirers

32. Pratap Chandra Majumdar

33. Shivanath Shastri

34. Trailokya Nath Dev

35. Girish Chandra Sen

36. Krishna Kumar Mitra

37. Upadhyay Brahmabandhav

38. Sarada Sundari Devi

39. Trailokya Nath Sanyal

40. Priyanath Mallick

41. Kshirod Chandra Sen

42. Kamakhya Nath Bandyopadhyay

43. Nagendra Nath Gupta

44. Dr. Abdul Wajij

45. Aswini Kumar Datta

 

IV. Appendixes

 

A. Sri Ramakrishna: Some New Findings - Swami Saradananda

B. The Photographs of Ramakrishna - Swami Vidyatmananda

C. The Temple Garden of Dakshineswar - M. (Mahendra Nath Gupta)

 


Excerpts 


Ramendra Sundar Bhattacharya

   When I was eight years old, I went with my father to visit Rani Rasmani’s temple garden in Dakshineswar. As far as I recall, it was a summer morning. Our country home was in Khunbaria Village in the district of Medinipur, which is twenty miles from Kamarpukur, the birthplace of Sri Ramakrishna. My father and the Master were contemporaries. They had known each other since childhood and were friends. My father lived both in the village and in Calcutta. He always visited the Master when he travelled to and from Calcutta. If the Master had any news to send to Kamarpukur, my father would get it before leaving for the village, and then he would bring the news from Kamarpukur to the Master when he returned to Calcutta. One day, before leaving for his village, my father told me: “Today I shall take you to Dakshineswar. There you will see a famous Kali temple and a living God.”

 

Swami Yogananda

   When I was a little boy and had some knowledge about the world, I would think: “This world is not my home.” While watching the sky, I felt that I had come here from one of those higher starry realms. When my friends invited me to play with them, I felt that they did not belong to me and that my real playmates were in that higher realm. So I was reluctant to play with them. Then an indistinct dream world would manifest in my mind. So quite often I was unmindful and indifferent to this world.    I heard the name of Sri Ramakrishna in my boyhood days, and I saw him many times in Rasmani’s temple garden from a distance. But I didn’t dare enter his room because of the large crowd. After bathing in the Ganges, I would pick some flowers and return home. However, I always felt a desire to be with the Master. From my boyhood I had no attraction for worldly things, but I had a natural affinity for the deities. After I was initiated in the sacred thread ceremony, I used to go to pick flowers regularly in the temple garden.

 

Swami Subodhananda

   Subodh and his friend Kshirod first visited Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar in August 1885. They entered the room and saluted him with folded hands. Kshirod approached the Master, who was seated on his bed, but Subodh remained by the door. “Where do you come from?” asked Ramakrishna. Pointing to Subodh, the Master said: “Why is that gentleman standing so far away? Come nearer.” This encouraged Subodh to move closer. “Do you not belong to the family of Shankar Ghosh?” asked the Master.    

 Subodh was surprised and said, “Yes, sir, but how did you know?”

   “When I was staying in Jhamapukur,” said the Master, “I often visited your home as well as your Kali temple at Thanthania. That was before you were born. I knew you would come. Well, the Divine Mother sends here those who will attain spirituality. You belong to this place.”

   “Sir, if I belong to this place, why did you not call me earlier?” 

 

Swami Akhandananda

Whenever I went to the Master I noticed that he talked about nothing but God and religion. He was never dry or boring. During talks on the most exalted topics he created much laughter by making jokes. One day he said: "You know there are various kinds of siddhas [perfected souls]. Do you know what siddha means? Literally, it means ‘boiled.’ As potatoes and squash become soft when boiled, so men are when perfected or illumined."

Once I spent the night at Dakshineswar with several other disciples, and the Master had us all sit for meditation. While communing with our Chosen Deities, we often laughed and wept in ecstasy. The pure joy we experienced in those boyhood days cannot be expressed in words. Whenever I approached the Master he would invariably ask me, "Did you shed tears at the time of prayer or meditation?" And one day when I answered yes to this, how happy he was! "Tears of repentance or sorrow flow from the corners of the eyes nearest the nose," he said, "and those of joy from the outer corners of the eyes." Suddenly the Master asked me, "Do you know how to pray?" Saying this he flung his hands and feet about restlessly - like a little child impatient for its mother. Then he cried out: "Mother dear, grant me knowledge and devotion. I don’t want anything else. I can’t live without you." While thus teaching us how to pray, he looked just like a small boy. Profuse tears rolled down his chest, and he passed into deep samadhi. I was convinced that the Master did that for my sake.


Swami Vijnanananda

Another day I went in the afternoon to visit the Master at Dakshineswar. Many devotees were seated in his room. After saluting the Master I sat quietly in a corner. The Master was conversing with the devotees seated on his small cot. In physical appearance he was like any other man, but his smile was something divine. I have never seen such a smile in my life. When he smiled, a wave of bliss rolled not only over his face but over his whole body. And that blissful smile would wipe out the worries and troubles of those who looked at him. His voice was so sweet and melodious that one never tired of hearing it. His eyes were keen and bright, and when he would look at a person, it seemed that he was seeing everything inside him.

I felt Sri Ramakrishna’s room vibrating with a tangible atmosphere of peace, and the devotees present seemed to be listening in blissful absorption to the words that poured from the Master’s lips. I don’t recall what he said, but I experienced tremendous joy within. For a long time I sat there, my whole attention concentrated on Sri Ramakrishna. He did not say anything to me, nor did I ask him anything. Then one by one the devotees took their leave, and suddenly I found myself alone with him. The Master was looking at me intently. I thought it was time for me to depart, so I prostrated before him. As I stood up to go, he asked: "Can you wrestle? Come, let me see how well you wrestle!" With these words he stood up, ready to grapple with me. I was surprised at this challenge. I thought to myself, "What kind of holy man is this?" But I replied, "Yes, of course I can wrestle."

Sri Ramakrishna came closer, smiling. He caught hold of my arms and began to shove me, but I was a strong, muscular young man and I pushed him back to the wall. He was still smiling and holding me with a strong grip. Gradually I felt a sort of electric current coming out of his hands and entering into me. That touch made me completely helpless. I lost all my physical strength. I went into ecstasy, and the hair of my body stood on end. Releasing me, the Master said with a smile, “Well, you are the winner.”