Six Lighted Windows: Memories of Swamis in the West
- 300 pages US paperback
What is it like to live in a Vedanta (Hindu) monastery in the West? What kinds of teachers, abbots and companions would one find there, and how would their teachings and examples profit the Western mind? What about the social and cultural differences?
Six Lighted Windows is a moving and inspirational remembrance of six dedicated teachers and spiritual guides of the Ramakrishna Order who were called to serve in the West:
Following in the wake of Swami Vivekananda in his mission to America and the West, these deeply spiritual men left their native India started monasteries and religious communities in cities as diverse as New York, London, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and even Hollywood. In every instance, their devotion to the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna helped to spread the truth of Vedanta in the Western world.
Having had the rare privilege of serving all these master religious teachers during the course of his own spiritual evolution. Swami Yogeshananda was ideally situated to experience firsthand both the warmth and the profundity of their human presence. His memoirs are an inspiring gift to all followers of Vedanta and a vital document in the history of Vedanta in the West.
From the Foreword
"I used to think that I knew what spirituality was. At least the books - The Practice of The Presence of God, Tales of the Hasidim, The Buddha-Charita - were in some agreement about it. Living beside the extraordinary souls of whom I speak in this book, I had to revise my conceptions.
"Spirituality seems to take many forms and surprising shapes. The temptation to put people on scales in order to gauge their spiritual weight or judge one against another is to be resisted. Applying an illustration used by Sri Ramakrishna may be our best course of action: 'In a great chandelier, the lamps are of various shapes and sizes, but the light shining through each one is the same and from the same source.'
Whatever spirituality is, or rather whatever I could comprehend of it, has been revealed gradually and continually as I lived with these men. These accounts are not biographies, but they are more than cameos. The monks discussed here were true pioneers of the work of the Ramakrishna Order in the West, and whatever can be preserved of their words and actions is of value.