Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86) is regarded by his followers as an incarnation of God and he attracted a number of disciples, the best known in the West being Swami Vivekananda. Information about Ramakrishna's close disciples, who formed a monastic order after his death, has been available for some time, but little has been known about his close "householder" disciples, who continued to live as members of society performing their normal worldly duties while committing themselves to a deeply spiritual life. In 28 short biographies the author looks at Ramakrishna's principal lay disciples and shows how they exemplified various facets of their master's teaching. Moreover, this book presents a more complete picture of Ramakrishna himself, including many new stories about his life.
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. . . never before has the immensely vivid background to Ramakrishna s life been so apparent as in this beautiful book, which describes in rich detail for the first time, the stories of his lay devotees. . . . It is salutary to discover how thoroughly the lives of ordinary Indian people were and to a considerable extent still are permeated by the profound spirituality of Hinduism, which gave their existence dignity and a sense of real meaning. One can clearly see from the courageous examples set by these householder disciples of Sri Ramakrishna that it is essential for us to continue to live in the world as they did but with a fresh spirit of dedication to God. --Science of Thought Review
In an age so secular that many talk of God s death, it is important to have these detailed accounts of individuals who not only experienced God as alive, but who came to new life through that experience. --Huston Smith, author of The World s Religions
What would it be like to live with one of the greatest saints of all time? Would you be completely transformed? Or would you fight it tooth and nail? This incredibly fascinating and important book reveals how ordinary men and women, people like you and me, responded to the challenge posed by a holy man who transparently embodied pure spirit. --Linda Johnsen, author of Daughters of the Goddess:The Women Saints of India
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