This book is the most comprehensive, authentic and critical estimate of the life, sadhana, and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna. It is an English translation of Sri Sri Ramakrishna Lila-prasanga written in Bengali by Swami Saradananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and who is deemed an authority both as a philosopher and as a biographer. His biographical narrative of Sri Ramakrishna is based on his firsthand observations, assiduous collection of material from different authentic sources, and patient sifting of evidence. Known for his vast erudition, spirit of rational enquiry and far-reaching spiritual achievements, he has interspersed the narrative with lucid interpretations of various religious cults, mysticism, philosophy, and intricate problems connected with the theory and practice of religion.
Translated faithfully into English by Swami Jagadananda, who was a disciple of the Holy Mother, this book may be ranked as one of the best specimens in hagiographic literature. The book also contains a chronology of important events in the life of Sri Ramakrishna, his horoscope, and a short but beautiful article by Swami Nirvedananda on the book and its author. This firsthand, authentic book is a must-read for everyone who wishes to know about and contemplate on the life of Sri Ramakrishna.
The voluminous book has been split into two volumes for easier handling. This is the first volume of the book and the second volume must be read as a sequel to this volume.