Revered Pravrajika Muktiprana Mataji, The First General Sectary of Sri Sarada Math and The Ramakrishna
Sarada Mission requested me to write this book; therefore it is dedicated to her. The book is also dedicated to
Marie Louise Burke (Sister Gargi), who made it possible to begin this work by making available her valuable
collection at the Vedanta Society of Northern California. I am grateful to Revered Swami Prabuddhananda for
Kindly allowing me to live in the convent there during my perusal of these archives.
I am grateful to Most Revered President of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Srimat Swami
Ranganathanandaji Maharaj and to Revered Swami Sarvagatanandaji Maharaj for their encouragement and
blessings for the book. I offer my gratitude to Professor Cyrus R. Mehta, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard
School of Public Health for facilitating the use of Harvard archives.
The author is grateful to Olea Smith-Kalland, Sara Bull's great-granddaughter, for making her private collection
of Sara Chapman Bull papers available.
A few librarians have been particularly helpful, namely Rosanne Buzzell, Archivist at the Eliot Baha'i Center at
Green Acre, and Knut L. Espelid, Librarian of the University of Bergen, Marjorie Blood, Librarian at Lebanon,
Maine, the Librarian at Oxford Memorial Library, Oxford, New York, and Berit Hogheim, Secretary of Museet,
Lysoen. I would like to thank Elva L. Nelson, retired Librarian at Ipswich M.A., and Dr. Betty S. Robinson for their
This book could not have been researched without the help of Joan Shack who was tireless driver, companion
and shipper during the collection of research materials. Lalita Maly helped to put in the first revisions in the
organisation of the archives, Amrita Salm helped by reading the entire MS and giving helpful suggestions as
well as working with me on the index. I am grateful to Professors Steve and Janet Walker and Dr. Shelly M.
Brown of Kalpa Tree Press for reading the MS and giving much thoughtful guidance.
The Ramakrishna Mission Advaita Ashrama has generously given permission to reprint quotations from Swami
Vivekananda's literature, for which I am very grateful.
I am especially indebted to Shubhani Sarkar for designing and typesetting the book, and Dwijen Basu of
Ananda Publishers for expediting the publication.
From the Jacket
The struggle against the force that divide individual human beings from humanity is the story of Sara Bull's life.
Swami Vivekananda said about Sara Bull and Sister Nivedita, that Sara was the word and Nivedita, the voice.
Sara embodied the ideals of the new consciousness generated by the Ramakrishna Movement and Nivedita
gave them expression in lectures and writing.
Meeting Sara Bull was the turning point in Vivekananda's American career. Nivedita wrote that in Sara Bull.
Vivekananda's cause found a mother. There was none other with her sense of responsibility, foresight and
Sara Bull's home in America became a recognised school of comparative philosophy, with special care taken
that Indian and Vedantic subjects should have an adequate place.
From the beginning of her contact with the Indian mind, she had felt a curiosity as to the quality of the mothers of
men so trained. Sara Bull was eagerly interested in the education of Indian women. Indian women have never
bee red more sympathetically or regarded more hopefully, than by this truest and best of friends. She was aware
of the importance to the future of the people, of all the higher forms of intellectual activity.
Seldom is such warmth of conviction and enthusiasm held in such exquisite restraint by depth of experience and
sanity of judgement.
Back of the Book
Swami Vivekananda Said, 'I want you know Sara Bull. She is a saint, a real saint if ever thee was one. To know
her is a pilgrimage.
When a discussion arose, in some American house where he was visiting, and the whole party suddenly turned
to Swami Vivekananda, laughingly, for his definition of a saint he paused a moment, and then in a hushed
voice answered, "Mrs. Ole Bull."
Swami Saradananda said about Sara Bull that her ideal was to make all her own till she became the
Grandmother of the whole universe.
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