The Monk Without Frontiers

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Author: A Compilation
Publisher: Advaita Ashrama Kolkata
Pages: 622
Binding: Hardbound


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This is a compilation of 134 reminiscences of Swami Ranganathananda presenting his multi-faceted personality in an inspiring as well as interesting manner. The Swami in his long monastic career of about eight decades had contributed in diverse fields of which the most significant and notable one for which he was reputed all over the world was his contribution as the cultural and spiritual ambassador of India to the world. A very colourful picture of the Swami thus emerges out of the pages of this book.

SKU: BK 0000135 Category:
Weight 0.940 kg






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  1. Web Team

    Book Review:
    Swami Ranganathananda, the 13th President of the Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission, was born in 1908 and entered into Mahasamadhi in 2005. He lived in his mortal body for 97 years. It was a life lived in all its fullness. The second Mantra of the Isavasyopanishad says that one should live on this earth for one hundred years performing actions all the time. Fortunate are those who can look back in time and feel that not a single
    moment of their life has been a waste. Swami Ranganathananda was such a person, who lived his life fully and richly. As he himself told this reviewer once: Since reading the Gospel of Sri
    Ramakrishna for the first time in my life, I have never been bored even for one moment.
    This book is a compilation of the fond memories of a large number of people around the world about this remarkable personality. That such a book could come out within a matter of three years from his Mahasamadhi speaks volumes of the reverence in which he had been held by his admirers.
    The book has been divided into three sections. The first section is devoted to the reminiscences of the monks of the Sri Ramakrishna Order, the second to those of the nuns of the Sarada Math, and the third to those of lay people of all shades and hues. There is a distinct variation in style and content among the three groups.
    The monks of the Order had perhaps the closest and the most intimate association with the Swami, because he was their brother-monk. Their reports are full of details that are otherwise
    inaccessible to lay persons. However, they conceal more than they reveal. One of these contributors told the reviewer that what cannot be revealed are memories too sacred and personal. Hence, lay admirers have to be content with what has been
    For the nuns of the Sarada Math, the Swami was a philosopher and guide. In view of the strict observance of a code of conduct, their contacts were peripheral and their reminiscences are not so
    intimate as those of their male counterparts. But, they have their own value, since the nuns were also leading the same kind of life as the Swami.
    However, it is the third section, devoted lay admirers, that brings out the multifaceted personality of the Swami very clearly. There are politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, householders,
    housewives, etc., from several parts of the globe. While there is a sense of uniformity in the first two sections for reasons stated above, it is the third section that displays a wide variety of responses and also springs unexpected surprises. Just to quote
    one example, many people may not be aware, and this reviewer was certainly not, that the great T.P.Kailasam, acknowledged the most popular and evergreen dramatist of the Kannada stage, was a great devotee of Sri Ramakrishna! Kailasam was a chain smoker, except in the Ashram premises, out of respect for Thakur! This was a fact revealed by Swami Ranganathananda himself to a lay admirer of Karnataka.
    When one goes through the reports of the third section, one is simply overawed by the personality of the subject. But, the reviewer did not find any of these unusual or un-understandable, because of his own contact with the Swami for almost three decades. Everything in this section only corroborated the opinion already formed by him about the Swami. One factor missing in the book, according to this reviewer, is a mention of the deep knowledge of the Swami about modern physics. The reviewer
    has his own unforgettable memories of the several conversations he had with the Swami concerning the intricacies of Quantum Physics and its connection with Consciousness. It was indeed amazing how the Swami had understood the essence of this
    subject, but was at the same time so humble as to get it verified by specialists. In this he followed the dictum of Thakur
    “As long as I live, so long will I learn.”
    What the editors have accomplished in bringing out this volume is worthy of the highest encomiums. It was a stupendous task and they have risen to the occasion admirably.
    It is obvious that there are several others also around the globe, who had something or other to do with the great Swami. It will be a great achievement on the part of the editors if they could collect these also and, after careful editing, incorporate them in future editions.
    The book is, perhaps, the greatest tribute that can be offered to one whose life was lived in the Holy Trio. It is an amazing experience reading through this book.

    Web Team