Ramakrishna As We Saw Him, revised 2nd edition
- 572 pages, US paperback
This is the new revised edition. It 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.
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.
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