Swami Swahananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order of India, is the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California. He joined the Ramakrishna Order in 1947 and received sannyasa, final vows, in 1956.
After joining the order, he served in the Madras Math and, later, as editor of the Order's scholarly publication, the Vedanta Kesari. He came to the United states in 1968 as the Assistant Minister of the San Francisco Vedanta Society and was later appointed head of the Vedanta Society of Berkeley, California. Immediately prior to coming to this country, the swami was head of the Delhi Centre, the premier centre of the Ramakrishna Order in the capital of India.
In December of 1976 he was transferred to Hollywood, the headquarters of the Vedanta Society ;of Southern California, where he remains the minister today.
In the late 1980s he was invited to lecture in Moscow and provide spiritual guidance. The swami gives lectures regularly at the Vedanta branch centres in Southern California. He also lectures in many places throughout North America.
Swami Swahananda is the author of many books and articles on religious life and spirituality including: Meditation and Other Spiritual Disciplines; Hindu Symbology and Other Essays, and Service and Spirituality. The present book, Vedanta and Ramakrishna, is a collection of some of his articles and lectures.
We are happy to bring out this book, Vedanta and Ramakrishna, by Swami Swahananda, Minister-in-charge of the Vedanta Society of Southern California, the Vedanta Centre of Greater Washington, D. C., and the Vivekananda Retreat at Ridgely. Most of the articles in this book have been previously printed in different journals, and the rest are based on lectures given by the swami at different places.
According to the author, Pamela (Prem) Reid helped to transcribe and edit the material, and without her zeal and labour of love this book would not have seen the light of day. Also, Amrita, Evelyn, Richard, and others helped to go through the material and arrange it, and they gave suggestions for improvement. Fritz Peters (Niranjan) designed the cover. We are thankful to all of them.
This book is meant to popularize the message of Sri Ramakrishna, and thus some repetitions have been retained for the sake of clarity. However, we are sure this book will be appreciated by readers, as his previous books have been.
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