Reflections and memories of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Vivekananda's younger brother.
- 120 pages, Indian paperback
- (retail only)
Mohendra Nath Dutta, as Vivekananda's younger brother, visited Ramakrishna many times in his early teens. This book contains his memories and reflections of the visits. It's fascinating to observe through the author what it was like to sit with Ramakrishna (referred to in the book as Paramahamsa Mosai.) and see how others reacted to him. Truly this is a book worth reading for devotees of Ramakrishna. Translated from the Bengali.
I noticed a strange attractive power in Paramahamsa Mosai, be it while he was sitting in the drawing room or while singing in the courtyard, or while eating... It was as if our principal task was to observe him quietly. Often what he said was not remembered... but I noticed a kind of aura or energy emanating from the body of Paramahamsa Mosai. Coming from its source, the energy first enveloped the entire room and then the front verandah. It even used to pass through the bars on the window and undulate on the road. I observed this on several occasions. Many contemporaries had noticed this and discussed the matter.
Another thing that I noticed, was that the devotional songs that he sang were very common... they produced a different and altogether different kind of feeling when he sang them, as though he presented the song in a new way. Sometimes he appeared to be lost in himself; again, as if his throat had become dry, he took a little spice from the spice-box. His words were not being retained in the mind, but I felt convinced that whatever he said was correct. There was no desire to argue. The feeling arose in my mind that whatever he said was true and beyond doubt. Words and ideas were coming in such quick succession that there was neither opportunity nor time to retain them in the mind. His words were worth listening to, but but I could not understand their meaning or significance. It was as if all became overwhelmed and a kind of drowsiness overtook everyone...
Good insights into how Ramakrishna appeared and especially affected those around him, both adult devotees and the young children (like the author) who observed everything from a different viewpoint. Good backup read to Isherwood’s Ramakrishna and His Disciples which is very informative.
Really good first half.
I enjoyed the first section of the book. It carries fascinating insights of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. These stories cannot be found in the mainstream Vedanta literature. It describes SRK and Sw.V, their interactions, and stories giving the reader some real context and understanding of cultural values and norms guiding that part of India in the late 19th century. I was able to access some more stories from http://www.vivekananda.net.
I lost interest after reading a few pages of the second half. Buy the book for the first half, it is totally worth it
Partly Great, Partly Questionable
This little book is divided into two parts, and they could hardly be more different. Part One is all about Thakur, and it has some wonderful new insights. When eating, he used to squat on his haunches, with his knees drawn up toward his chin. His early practice of gazing at the sun made him blink a lot, and may have caused the squinty-eyed look we see in his photos. Often he was so oblivious to his surroundings that he went naked without realizing it. He emitted a sort of aura that raised the minds of onlookers to a higher plane and made them forget worldly worries. This part (64 pages) is all narrative, and much of it is fascinating.
Part Two could hardly be more different. It's a long, 53-page disquisition on Mahendranath's psycho-physiological theories, with much discussion of gross nerves, fine nerves, vibrations, and energy. I'm not qualified to evaluate this part; readers will have to draw their own conclusions.
Reflections on Sri Sri Ramakrishna
This is a fascinating book that allows us into actual Indian culture at that time, and gives a picture of Ramakrishna that M and Nikhilananda were not able to present. Any serious student or devotee of Ramakrishna should be interested in reading it.
Reflections on Sri Sri Ramakrishna
This is a slim but rich book. Ramakrishna as seen by Vivekananda's young brother who attentively watched Ramakrishna attract and transform his brother from Narendranath to Swamiji. Mohendra provides minute observations of Ramakrishna and Swamiji in samadhi which are unique to the Ramakrishna canon. Mohendra followed Swamiji to London and observed Swamiji when the Divine energy would move through him and have similar induction effects to those which Mohendra had experienced with Ramakrishna in Calcutta. Mohendra lived well into the 20th Century and watched the effect Ramakrishna had on Calcutta society in general and individuals in particular with examples before and after. He spent his lifetime meditating on what he had been privileged to see and experience. His discussion of spiritual induction brings to mind the energetic induction fields of Franklin Merrell-Wolff and Richard Moss, two American jnanis, who recorded their experiences. I have experienced a degree of this inductive spiritual grace when meditating with Richard Moss, and I can agree with Mohendra, that it is something to meditate on because it cannot be languaged, yet it is powerful and transformative.
Very nice book.
I enjoy anything written about Ramakrishna. So this book was quite welcome as I think I've read almost everything available on this beloved incarnation of God. Reading a treasure such as this book, puts one that much closer to the Master. Thank you for making it available!
Reflections On Sri Sri Ramakrishna
This short book of 120 pages is quite amazing. The author, Vivekananda's brother, was fortunate to observe Ramakrishna up close on several occasions, and describes him as he transforms from a simple illiterate villager to his most exalted state in slow stages while visiting a neighbor's home. The writer goes on to give a detailed explanation as to why each stage is necessary. Also for the dance that Ramakrishna performs. The book is filled with new information. A must for all followers of Ramakrishna.