Author: Swami Vivekananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175052805
Mystic, Prophet, Monk, guru, Evangelist, Paramahamsa, Disciple, Master, Lover of Humanity, Patriot, child, brother, friend innumerable facets of the great personality that is Swami Vivekananda stand here revealed through his won words. From his boyhood and discipleship under Sri Ramakrishna, to his founding of the Ramakrishna Missions; from his wandering throughout India as an unknown Sannyasin, to his world-shaking triumph at the Chicago Parliament of Religions; from his struggles to lift the suffering masses of India, to his soaring flights in the Spirit; and to his final release form the body through Yoga: we follow here the Swami’s life and experiences as he himself reveled them through his conversations, discourses, writings, and letters. Who was Swami Vivekananda? Here a thousand word-pictures, carefully gathered together by his students, give the answer.
Swami Vivekananda was, at many times, a man of inconceivable attitude of thought, and often to all appearances a living paradox; but beneath the surface of appearance he was clearly the living explanation of the spiritual life. And the understanding of the man, seemingly almost impossible, becomes almost simple when one remembers that he was a man of manifold realization. Thus all the apparent paradoxes of his thought were reconciled by the greatness of his heart and by the consistencies of his emotional consciousness.
He was intellectually like a great hammer mercilessly beating down the structures of complacent belief. Even with regard to his own mind he was an eternal iconoclast, always searching for and demanding a sounder, saner and a more comprehensive basis. He never allowed himself any intellectual ease. He peremptorily refused to be satisfied with a finality in thought and ideas which by their very nature connote limitation and imperfection. Therefore he was always on the watch-tower of thought, straining his personal vision to discern the contents of an eve widening horizon.. If he dreaded anything more than bondage, it was the idea of putting a limit to the infinite conceptions of God and the endless ways of realizing Him.
-Vivekananda-The Man and His Message.
My heart leaps with joy-and it is a wonder that I do not go mad when I find anybody thoroughly launched into the midst of the doctrine which is to shower peace on earth hereafter.
I go forth, to preach a religion of which Buddhism is nothing but a rebel child, and Christianity, with all her pretensions, only a distant echo.
We shall crush the stars to atoms, and unhinge the universe. Don’t you know who we are? We are the servants of Sri Ramakrishna.
You have heard that Christ said, My words are spirit and they are life. So are my words spirit and life; they will burn their way into your brain and you will never get away from them!
Black and thick are the folds of sinister fate. But I am the master. I raise my hand, and lo, they vanish! All this is nonsense. And fear? I am the Fear of fear, the Terror of terror, I am the fearless secondless One, I am the ruler of destiny, the Wiper-out of fact. Sri wah Guru!
Yes! The older I grow, the more everything seems to me to lie in manliness. This is my new gospel.
The Mother is our guide and whatever happens or will happen is under Her ordination.
My ideal indeed can be put into a few words and that is –to peach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.
Know for certain that the work done by me is not the work of Vivekananda, it is His work-the Lord’s own work!
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION
Birth and Boyhood
Sri Ramakrishna, My Master
The Baranagore Math & Days of Wandering
The Divine Call & The Parliament of Religions
March of Events
Return to India
The Plan of Work
Second Visit to the West
The Last Days