From the Jacket:
HUMAN AFFECTION AND DIVINE LOVE
A suitable gift-book full of inspiring thoughts. It describes the evolution of love through various stages - animal, human and divine - and shows that love is not an emotional sentiment as commonly understood, but an attribute of our real Self. 'Ecstatic love of God is like a string in the hands of the Bhakta which binds God.' -Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna.
SWAMI ABHEDANANDA, an apostle of Sri Ramakrishna - Born October 2, 1866- Spent his early life among the brotherhood in Baranagar monastery near Calcutta, in severe austerity - Travelled barefooted all over India from 1888-1895 - Went to London in 1896 at the call of his senior spiritual brother, Swami Vivekananda - Acquainted with many distinguished savants including Prof. Max Muller and Prof. Paul Deussen - Landed in New York, and took the charge of the Vedanta Society in 1897 - Became acquainted with Prof. William James, Rev, R. H. Newton, Prof. W. Jackson, Prof. Josiah Royce of Harvard, Prof. Hyslop of Columbia, Prof. Lanmann, Prof. G. H. Howison, Prof. Fay, Mr. Edison, the inventor, Dr. Elmer Gates, Ralph Waldo Trine, W.D. Howells, Prof. Herschel C. Parker, Dr. Logan, Rev. Bishop Potter, Prof. Shaler, Dr. Janes, the Chairman of the Cambridge Philosophical Conference, and the Professors of Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Berkeley and Clarke Universities - Travelled extensively all through the United States, Canada, Alaska and Mexico - Made frequent trips to Europe, delivering lectures in different parts of the Continent-Crossed the Atlantic seventeen times - Was appreciated very much for his profundity of scholarship, intellectual brilliance, oratorical talents, charming personality and nobility of character -A short visit to India in 1906 - Returned again to America in 1906 - Came back to India finally in 1921 - On his way home joined the Pan-Pacific Educational Conference, Honolulu - Visited Japan, China, the Phillipines, Singapore, Kualaumpur and Rangoon - Started on a long tour and went as far as Tibet in 1922 - Established centres at Calcutta and Darjeeling - Left his mortal frame on September 8, 1939.
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI ABHEDANANDA (ELEVEN VOLUMES)
The writings and speeches of Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, were spread over a long period of spiritual ministration both in America and in India. His deep philosophical insight and unfathomed spirituality attracted the learned and the intelligentsia. All his writings and speeches are available in one set of eleven volumes entitled THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SWAMI ABHEDANANDA, the last volume being the Guide to the Complete Works, edited in full by the most renowned philosopher and writer Swami Prajnanananda the direct disciple of Swami Abhedananda. We invite all lovers of philosophy, religion and culture to avail of the golden opportunity of collecting this set without delay.
Printed in Demy Octavo in good quality of paper, bound with cloth and covered with coloured jackets.
Love of manifestation of love can be divided into two classes - phenomenal and transcendental, material and spiritual, human and divine. Worldly affection is material, whereas other - worldly affection is spiritual, which is known as Divine Love, or love for God. All human affections and attractions are but the manifestations of that wonderful power of love. It is the one power that governs our life and the lives of all living beings. Even the inanimate material objects are possessed of power of attraction, because if there remains no of power of attraction in them, then the atoms and molecules of the material objects which compose the forms of them, would not be found tied together into the mass of solid objects. The solid material objects have in them the power of resistance. In the Sankhya philosophy, we find that evolution of this phenomenal universe depends upon attraction (raga) of the qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas and destruction happens for repulsion (viraga) of them.
Phenomenal love is an attraction or attachment to material body, senses and sense-pleasures. This kind of love is very limited and selfish, because it knows nothing but the petty self and forgets the love for the higher Self, which is the Atman. Love for God is other-worldly and divine. Love for God makes one forget his petty self which is attached to the material body and senses.
The nature of love is to attract and to make contact between two selves. Wherever there is an expression of love, there is manifested a kind of mutual attraction first, and then comes the mutual attachment and feeling of possession. It can be said that love is the attraction between a soul and a soul. Here the word 'soul' signifies a both petty self (jivatman) which is attached to material body and the Self or Atman which transcends the attraction or attachments of all material sense-objects. The Brihadaranyaka-Upanishad says that a mother loves her child neither for the child's sake, nor for its material form, but for the sake of the Atman which resides in the husband. So love is known as divine when it is directed towards God, or the Atman. Ordinary human affection seeks a return of love, but Divine love seeks no return. As for example, Sri Radha loved Sri Krishna for love's sake, and her love did not ask any return. This asking is known as a craving which is attached to selfishness and that craving of the soul will not be absolutely satisfied until the eternal object or ideal of love is discovered. That eternal object is God.
The earthly human love brings with it sorrow and suffering, whereas Divine Love brings a cessation of all sorrow, suffering and pain. Divine Love lifts the soul above all bondages, breaks the fetters of selfishness and worldliness. The human love brings peace and happiness which are temporary and non-eternal, whereas Divine Love brings permanent peace, solace and eternal happiness. In fact, Divine Love brings non-attachment to sense-pleasures and directs the mind towards God, the eternal peace. "Whosoever has ever tasted one single drop of that soul-stirring Divine Love, has gained infinite strength and unlimited power which are able to conquer the whole world within the twinkling of an eye. His body may be killed or crucified, but he lives as an immortal one as the Lord Himself," - said Swami Abhedananda.
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math
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