Sri Ramakrishna's life is the most significant event in modern history. His message that all religions lead to the same Godhead is the only wisdom that can lead our world torn by religious conflicts towards a global peace and religious harmony. While Christ, Buddha or Muhammad established their own religions, Sri Ramakrishna reaffirmed people's faith not in the fundamental but the universal dimensions of these religions by his own spiritual Sadhana through all these paths. And this restoration of faith in the religions has brought a religious revival all over the world in spite of seventy years of Godless Communism and amoral materialism.
Sri Ramakrishna's message of the service to human beings on veritable embodiments of Gods, especially to God the poor (Daridra-Narayan), God the sick (Rogi-Narayan), God the seeker of knowledge (Vidyarthi-Narayan), God the fallen (Papi-Narayan) and God the offlicted (Topi-Narayan) irrespective of caste, creed and religion - is the basis of the new society and culture based on Vedantic humanism. His message of respecting and elevating women to living Goddesses is bringing a whole new generation of women leaders, both secular and spiritual, in India and abroad. Finally, Sri Ramakrishna's universal message of awakening man's essential divinity as the final goal of human life is slowly ushering a spiritual culture and spiritual civilization in today's world of consumeristic pride, hedonistic arrogance, sensate madness and fundamentalist atrocities.
We have chosen thirty-six major incidents from Sri Ramakrishna's life and twelve parables narrated by him and tried to project them through modest paintings. Each painting is supported by a short description and interpretation of the event. The homage of world thinkers is also included.
Documents and materials for the description of these painting have mostly been taken from Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master (Third Edition) by Swami Saradananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna; 'Sri Sri Ramakrishna Punthi' (Bengali, 9th edition) by Akshay Kumar Sen, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna; Ramakrishna as we saw Him' by Swami Chetanananda of Vedanta Centre, St. Louis, U.S.A.; The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' by M (Mahendranath Gupta) and Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, (Udbodhan, 1986). Some other books also have been consulted.
A Swami of our Ashrama assisted by Sri Ramakrishna Rao, an artist of Hyderabad, did these simple paintings. Sri Mukesh Rathod of Rajkot did the computer designing. Sri Sachin Gupta and Sri C.M. Malik of Delhi, Sri Dilip Choksi, Dr. & Mrs. Yogesh Chandarana of Mumbai, Sri Bhogilal Patel and Dr. Rashmi Shah of Gujarat Helped us in various ways to bring out the book. Swami Sarvasthananda, Br. Shesharaja and Br. Tamal assisted in compiling the text and writing, typing and printing of the book. We are grateful to all of them.
Our deepest gratitude and heartfelt Pranams go to Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj, President, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, who in spite of his ill health, saw the paintings and blessed the project with a foreword.
We will fell happy if the book can arouse even a little interest in the historic life and epoch-making message of Sri Ramakrishna.
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