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The Monk Without Frontiers - Reminscences of Swami Ranganathananda

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Back Of The Book Our country is rich in thought, in its philosophy, in its culture. But somehow, we have not been able to project these outside or even to all of our own people perhaps because so many of us look at these matters rather superficially. But Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ranganathananda have been notable exceptions to this. Swami Ranganathanandaji was a noble soul who immersed himself into the mission of spreading the message of Vedanta to humanity spread throughout this pl...
Back Of The Book

Our country is rich in thought, in its philosophy, in its culture. But somehow, we have not been able to project these outside or even to all of our own people perhaps because so many of us look at these matters rather superficially. But Swami Vivekananda and Swami Ranganathananda have been notable exceptions to this.

Swami Ranganathanandaji was a noble soul who immersed himself into the mission of spreading the message of Vedanta to humanity spread throughout this planet. The Swamiji was of indomitable spirit and a great spiritual leader.

One of the greatest teachers of our times, Swami Ranganathananda was a scholar, a sage, a companion of the needy, and above all a deeply religious person and a true humanist in the best traditions of our ancient culture and civilization.

Swami Ranganathananda was one of the brightest spiritual lights that shone upon Indian society in our times. He was an evolved soul, a seeker who began his life by working as a cook and dishwasher in the Ramakrishna Math, and rising to become one of the most revered propagators, both in India and abroad, of the teachings of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda... His was a lifelong mission to tell the world that the myriad problems and challenges confronting it can be addressed only through a radical spiritual reorientation to human affairs.


About The Book

This is a complication of articles written by the monks of the Ramakrishna Order, nuns of the Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, and devotees and admirers of Swami Ranganathananda. These are 134 pieces of writing on the Swami presenting his multi-faceted personality in an inspiring as well as interesting manner. The Swami in his long monastic career about eight decades had contributed in diverse field, of which the most significant and notable one, for which he was reputed all over the world, was his contribution as the cultural and spiritual ambassador of India to the world. Through the articles of this book it is interesting to note that people viewed him diversely through their diverse frames of mind. A very colorful picture of the Swami thus emerges out of its pages. It is a valuable tribute to the great Swami and his astounding contributions in the realms of spirituality, philosophy, religion, culture and global integration.



The life of a great spiritual personality is like the tip of an iceberg, the bottom of which is too deep to plumb. The only difference between the two is that while the iceberg destroys the ship when the latter collides with the hidden rock, the benign spiritual rock of the holy person touches a person tenderly. It is often done without the knowledge of the blessed soul, and the person who is thus touched, is gradually transformed and transported to a blissful! shore. Swami Ranganathananda was one such robust cliff of the lofty spiritual mountain range called the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Movement which has inspired, strengthened, and guided the lives of innumerable seekers of truth and provided succour and solace to suffering humanity across the globe. Like a true Vedantist monk he made himself accessible to all, irrespective of caste, creed, status and religion. As such Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj was undoubtedly a global personality, a monk without frontiers. However, he was deeply rooted at the same time in the RamakrishnaVivekananda tradition.

In his introduction to Raja-Yoga, Swami Vivekananda declares that “Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature external and internal.” Swami Ranganathananda, the 13th President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission, responded to this clarion call of Swamiji and attained extraordinary heights through self effort and hard work.

Eventually he manifested his divinity to such an extent that everyone, be it a monk, a householder, a politician or an intellectual, stood as much dazzled and enthralled by his range of knowledge and power of oratory as by his strength of character that radiated human excellence or divinity.

This centenary volume contains 134 pieces of writing out of which 4 are tributes and 130 are reminiscences of Swami Ranganathananda written by monks, nuns, devotees and admirers who are scattered across the globe. They are some of the very important persons who observed him from close quarters for varying periods of time. Some of these reminiscences are quite lengthy and some sketchy. Some are descriptive, some reflective, some analytical, while some contain just a few funny personal anecdotes. But all of them bring to light some nuggets of valuable information about the many-splendoured personality of the Swami.

In such a compilation repetitions are unavoidable for obvious reasons. We have tried nevertheless to reduce them to the minimum. It is of course true that repetition is often helpful as it impresses our mind about the values and ideals that a person of the stature of Swami Ranganathananda embodies.

The editor would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to this memorial volume and helped this project in one way or another. I thank specially Dr. Shyamali Chowdhury without whose determined effort and enthusiasm this volume would not have seen the light of day.

Finally, in spite of all our limitations and shortcomings, if this volume inspires seekers, even a little, to take a leaf out of the Swami’s book of life and character, that would be the most signal contribution that it could make to world culture and global spiritual health! May Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, Sri Swamiji and Srimat Swami Ranganathananda Maharaj bless us all and help us to transcend the narrow frontiers of mundane life in order to realize the oneness of existence.




List of Illustrations xxi
Section I  
The Citation of the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for 1985 Presented to Swami Ranganathananda 3
Section II
In the Eyes of the Monks of the Ramakrishna Order  
An Extraordinary Spiritial Force 9
A Unique Life 13
Looking Back To Look Forward 19
A Profile of Greatness 24
The Greatest Evangel of the Ramakrishna Movement 35
A Glorious and Eventful Life 51
A Spark from the World of Greatness 64
Reminiscences of Swami Ranganathananda 66
A Manifestation of Divinity in Human Form 76
He was a Great Soul 80
His Deep Concern for the Downtrodden 85
A Mahatma 92
A Few Reminiscences 96
A Perfectionist to the Core 108
Homage to a Great Soul 112
Glimpses of his Personality: Human and Divine 114
I Will Return to Work for Swamiji 138
His Love Captivated Us 140
A Monk with a Mission 147
A True vedantin in Every Sense 153
He was a Global Personality 156
Enlightened Moments in Holy Company 158
As if We were His Equals 172
Know Him to be a Brahma Jnani 174
A Friend of All 180
He shined in His own Light 182
A Real Devotee of Thakur 187
Swami Ranganathananda as I Saw Him 189
A Dynamic Personality 195
A Universal Person who Loved God in Man 197
Maharaj Brought out the Best in Others 202
Will-power and God's Grace Make Man Great 205
He Thought Me to Overcome Anger 213
An Embodiment of Godward Passion and Manward Love 215
Reminiscences of Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj 232
Memoirs of Swami Ranganathananda 242
An Illustrious Sage 252
Section III  
In the Eyes of the Nuns of Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission  
He Gave us Strength, Support, Courage and Inspiration 265
He was "Our Own" 270
A Perfect Vedantin 275
I Rushed to to the Ashrama 277
Section IV  
In The Eyes of Devotees and Admirers  
An Exceptional Person 285
A Veritable Cultural Ambassador of our Nation 287
A True Sannyasin 288
At the Feet of Swami Ranganathananda 290
A Born Teacher 295
Homage to Swami Ranganathananda 299
Homage to a Nable Soul 301
My Manas Guru 305
A Radiant Soul 307
The Unforgettable Swami Ranganathananda 315
Memories of a Splendorous Personality 318
The Scholarly, Scintillating, Serene Sage 322
Whatever I am Today is Because of His Grace 332
A Few Notable Events in Kashmir 336
A True Guru 341
A Great Seer and Humanist 343
Swami Ranganathananda as I Saw Him 348
One of the India's Greatest Sages 355
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Swami Ranganathananda 357
My True Friend and Teacher 359
My Meetings with Swami Ranganathananda 368
Swami Ranganathanda - An Abiding Presence 372
Reminiscences of a Great Soul 382
Evergreen Reminiscences of a Mahapurusha 395
A Great Source of Strength to Vivekananda Kendra 401
An Embodiment of Love 407
A Great Orator who Keeps us Spellbound 413
He Brought Ramakrishna into My Life 424
Swami Ranganathananda is Alive in Our Memory 436
Swami Ranganathananda was Global 444
Memories of the Heart 447
He Awakened Spiritual Conviction in Me 452
A Man of Realization 456
Grateful to have Known Swami Ranganathanda 459
My Spiritual Mother 472
A Genius 475
A Spiritual Giant 481
A Second Vivekananda 484
His Visits to Malaysia - Some Reflections 487
He Inspired us to Work for the Under-Reflections 491
Mahapurush Swami Ranganathanda 494
How can I Forget Him ? 502
I Feel His Presence Constantly 506
My Friend, Philosopher, and Guide 511
He Shaped our Lives 517
The Fuel of My Life 522
He Keeps Guiding Me 526
Remembering a Great Soul and a Teacher 528
A Great Privilege 530
A Friend of Love 533
Early Recollectins of the Revered Swami 541
Simple Living High Thinking 545
A Wonderful Swami 547
An Enlightened Teacher 557
The Light of Knowledge 560
His Lectures in Berlin and ite Present Relevance 572
He was a Special Creation of the World 575
He Helped Me to Overcome My Weekness 580
Not only a Father but also a Mother 589
He Gave a Different Turn to My Life 599
A Bridge Building between Science and Spirituality 603
Transforming Vision 612
The Trap 621
An Unasked for Boon 623
An Extraordinary Sannyasin 628
A Handsome, Brilliant, Charismatic Swami 633
Personal Touch that Endeared Him to Everyone 636
My Reminiscence of Swami Ranganathanada 642
Everything about Him was Positive 649
His Personal Thoughts and Feelings 652
Ranganathanandaji in Dallas 657
Prophet of the New World 661
Boundless grace 664
My Role Model 667
A Living Symbol of Humanitararianism 671
random Reflections of a Good Friend 673
Swami Ranganathananda 682
Swami Ranganathananda - A Galaxy of LightA Publishing Event 692
A Tremendous Spiritual Force of Restraints 694
Everybody was Divine in His Eyes 697
A Miracle of Sri Ramakrishna 700
Mother Incarnate 706
The Noble Sannyasin 710
Maharaj Changed My Entire Life 713
A Inspiring Force 718
A Few Reminiscences 721
The Biggest Influence in My Life 724
Swami Ranaganathanandaji - The Father Figure 426
The Awakening of Andhra Pradesh 733
A Champion of Human Excellence 740
Acknowledgement 743

Item Code: NAE458 Author: Swami Ranganathananda Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2008 Publisher: Ramakrishna mission ISBN: 9788184650006 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 767 (11 Color & 24 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 901 gms
Price: $30.00
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