BY the grace of God, the First Part of Sri Ramakrishna, The Great Master is now published. It contains a detailed account of the early life of Sri Ramakrishna and the purpose of his advent. An attempt is made herein to present to the reader the mental picture we have formed through hearing from various people a number of unrelated incidents from the Master's life at that time. Although persons like Hridayram Mukhopadhyaya, Ramlal Chattopadhyay and others gave as much help as they could for ascertaining the correct dates of certain events, there still remains, in places, some doubt on such points. They could not produce the horoscopes of Sri Ramakrishna's father, his elder brother and other near relatives; but they gave instead the approximate dates of certain events connected with the Master's life, saying, for example: "At the time of Sri Ramakrishna's birth his father was sixty-one or sixty-two year's old"; "Ramkumar, his eldest brother, was his senior by thirty-one or thirty-two years"; and so on.
Nevertheless the reader will be convinced, when he reads the fifth chapter of this part, "A Great Soul Is Born", that there is no doubt regarding the date of the birth of Sri Ramakrishna as recorded therein. We have been reassured about this and many other events recorded in this book by the Master's own words, some of which were heard by the author himself. It is to the Master, therefore, that we are beholden for this information. When we first set about describing certain periods of his life, it seemed impossible for us to narrate the events of his childhood and youth in such a detailed and connected way.
WHEN we make a comparative study of the spiritual beliefs and ideals of India and of other countries,
1. Spirituality is the pivot of life in India we notice a vast difference between them. From very ancient times India has taken the entities beyond the senses, like God, the self, the next world, etc., to be real, and has employed all its efforts to their direct realization, with the result that it has made their immediate experience or direct knowledge the final goal of the national as well as the individual endeavor. All its activities have accordingly been coloured by intense spirituality throughout the ages. When we seek out the source, of this absorbing interest in things beyond the senses, we India of men possessing a direct knowledge of these things and endowed with divine.
2. The frequent find that it is due to the frequent birth in birth of great souls in India is its cause qualities. India came to acquire a firm faith in their extraordinary visions and unique manifestations of power, and became deeply interested in them, because it always had an opportunity to witness and discuss them. Its national life was thus established from very ancient times on the solid foundation of spirituality; and keeping its gaze firmly fixed on this, it brought into existence a society of unique customs and practices, which enabled its individual members to attain the ultimate object of God-realization in a most natural manner through the performance of their daily duties according to their special tastes and qualities.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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