It gives us great pleasure to bring out this revised edition of the life and teachings of Mahapurush Maharaj (Swami Shivananda) originally entitled 'A Man of God' and now renamed 'The Saga of a Great Soul'. In this edition, the book has undergone considerable abridgement. Extensive descriptions of Hindu religious and social ideals, as also accounts of incidents readily available in the standard biographies of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda, with which an average reader is already conversant, have been cut short. Nothing of importance, however, has been omitted, and all the glowing aspects of this great life have been preserved.
We hope this edition, in its new garb, will be found as useful and handy as it is inspiring and elevating.
Here is the story of a saint. A 'natural' saint, one might call him. For, just as a few men in every age are SO born with a natural genius for science or the arts-a genius which manifests itself already in their earliest years also there are a few, a very few, who are born with spiritual genius. Swami Shivananda was one of these rare beings.
Mental conflict and struggle are, of course, inseparable from the practice of spiritual disciplines. The way to realization is always hard. Most men only achieve it after long periods of doubt and agony which are painful even when we merely read about them in a book. But when we read the life of a natural saint, a born spiritual genius, we can do so without pain, because the issue of his struggle seems certain even from the beginning. We know that he will win through.
Outwardly, Swami Shivananda led an intensely active life. As a young monk, he travelled all over India. As an elderly man, he became head of the world-wide Rama krishna Order and was beset by the problems of a great and growing institution. Yet, inwardly, that life seems like a firm-set and abiding tower, based upon the rock of contemplation. The body wandered and wore itself out in service; the spirit remained calm and established. Very early, it had found its timeless home, and there it always reposed.
This book is something more than the biography of an individual. It deals also with one of the most vital of all questions: the function of spiritual power within human society.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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