Swami Satprakashananda was born in Dhaka, Bengal, in 1888. At the age of 12 he saw Swami Vivekananda when that great exponent of Vedanta visited Dhaka. He received a degree from Calcutta University, and then, several years later, became a monk of the Ramakrishna Order. He was assistant editor of Prabuddha Bharata, a magazine of the Order, for three years. He was in charge of the Ramakrishna Mission Centre in New Delhi for six years. In 1936, he was sent to the United States to conduct the work of the Vedanta Society of Providence while Swami Akhilananda was in India for the completion and dedication of the new Sri Ramakrishna Temple at the headquarters in Belur, Calcutta.
In 1938, with about three hundred dollars and the name of one person who might be of some help, he went to St. Louis and established the Vedanta Society of St. Louis. He remained there 41 years, returning to India only once in 1955. He passed away in 1979 at the age of 91. Since then the work has been carried on by another Swami of the Order.
Each chapter of this book is a lecture never before published. The lectures were delivered in the late I950s arid the 1960s, except for the chapter entitled “Psychiatry and Vedanta”. This is a lecture given at a Psychotherapeutic Round Table held on 10 March, 1966, at the Central State Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky. The Swami was moderator. This lecture also appeared in the September 1966 issue of Pro Prabuddha Bharata.
Swami Satprakashananda was also the author of numerous books and pamphlets; chief among them is a powerful epistemological text entitled Methods of Knowledge According to Advaita Vedanta His other books include The Goal And The way; The Universe, God And God- realization; Meditation, its Process, Practice and Culmination; Hinduism and Christianity; Sri Ramakrishna’s Life and Message in the Present Age; Swami Vivekananda’s Contribution to The Present Age, and pamphlets, “Ethics and Religion, The Use of Symbols In Religion”, and “World Peace—How?”
Special thanks are due Virginia H. Ward who tape recorded the lectures in this book and transcribed them to paper many years ago. Without the recordings this book could not have come into being.
We hope this volume will promote the understanding of that which must be understood and controlled before spiritual progress can be made—the mind.
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