Saint Sara (The Life of Sara Chapman Bull The American Mother of Swami Vivekananda)

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Item Code: IDK141
Author: Pravrajika Prabuddhaprana
Publisher: Shri Sarada Math, Calcutta
Edition: 2002
ISBN: 8186617337
Pages: 566 (Throughout B/W & Colour Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.7" X 6.3"
Weight 1.01 kg
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Book Description

Revered Pravrajika Muktiprana Mataji, The First General Sectary of Sri Sarada Math and The Ramakrishna Sarada Mission requested me to write this book; therefore it is dedicated to her. The book is also dedicated to Marie Louise Burke (Sister Gargi), who made it possible to begin this work by making available her valuable collection at the Vedanta Society of Northern California. I am grateful to Revered Swami Prabuddhananda for Kindly allowing me to live in the convent there during my perusal of these archives.

I am grateful to Most Revered President of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Srimat Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj and to Revered Swami Sarvagatanandaji Maharaj for their encouragement and blessings for the book. I offer my gratitude to Professor Cyrus R. Mehta, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health for facilitating the use of Harvard archives.

The author is grateful to Olea Smith-Kalland, Sara Bull's great-granddaughter, for making her private collection of Sara Chapman Bull papers available.

A few librarians have been particularly helpful, namely Rosanne Buzzell, Archivist at the Eliot Baha'i Center at Green Acre, and Knut L. Espelid, Librarian of the University of Bergen, Marjorie Blood, Librarian at Lebanon, Maine, the Librarian at Oxford Memorial Library, Oxford, New York, and Berit Hogheim, Secretary of Museet, Lysoen. I would like to thank Elva L. Nelson, retired Librarian at Ipswich M.A., and Dr. Betty S. Robinson for their assistance.

This book could not have been researched without the help of Joan Shack who was tireless driver, companion and shipper during the collection of research materials. Lalita Maly helped to put in the first revisions in the organisation of the archives, Amrita Salm helped by reading the entire MS and giving helpful suggestions as well as working with me on the index. I am grateful to Professors Steve and Janet Walker and Dr. Shelly M. Brown of Kalpa Tree Press for reading the MS and giving much thoughtful guidance.

The Ramakrishna Mission Advaita Ashrama has generously given permission to reprint quotations from Swami Vivekananda's literature, for which I am very grateful.

I am especially indebted to Shubhani Sarkar for designing and typesetting the book, and Dwijen Basu of Ananda Publishers for expediting the publication.

From the Jacket

The struggle against the force that divide individual human beings from humanity is the story of Sara Bull's life.

Swami Vivekananda said about Sara Bull and Sister Nivedita, that Sara was the word and Nivedita, the voice. Sara embodied the ideals of the new consciousness generated by the Ramakrishna Movement and Nivedita gave them expression in lectures and writing.

Meeting Sara Bull was the turning point in Vivekananda's American career. Nivedita wrote that in Sara Bull. Vivekananda's cause found a mother. There was none other with her sense of responsibility, foresight and wisdom.

Sara Bull's home in America became a recognised school of comparative philosophy, with special care taken that Indian and Vedantic subjects should have an adequate place.

From the beginning of her contact with the Indian mind, she had felt a curiosity as to the quality of the mothers of men so trained. Sara Bull was eagerly interested in the education of Indian women. Indian women have never bee red more sympathetically or regarded more hopefully, than by this truest and best of friends. She was aware of the importance to the future of the people, of all the higher forms of intellectual activity.

Seldom is such warmth of conviction and enthusiasm held in such exquisite restraint by depth of experience and sanity of judgement.

Back of the Book

Swami Vivekananda Said, 'I want you know Sara Bull. She is a saint, a real saint if ever thee was one. To know her is a pilgrimage.

When a discussion arose, in some American house where he was visiting, and the whole party suddenly turned to Swami Vivekananda, laughingly, for his definition of a saint – he paused a moment, and then in a hushed voice answered, "Mrs. Ole Bull."

Swami Saradananda said about Sara Bull that her ideal was to make all her own till she became the Grandmother of the whole universe.


List of Illustrations xi
Introduction: Well-dressed Saints 1
1.A Scandalous Marriage 9
2.Widow of Norway's Famous Patriot48
3.Home and Changing Household 71
4.Truth is One 82
5.Greenacre Annex 100
6.The Origin of Vedanta Societies in America 122
7.Those Whom the Lord Sends 145
8.A Tent in Harvard Yard 173
9.Sons Like the Sun and the Moon 194
10.Committees and Membership 201
11.Vedanta is for Practice 231
12. In India on a Mission 256
13.Camping in Kashmir 289
14.Peace in Renunciation 319
15.The More a Person Can Sacrifice the Greater He is 351
16.Giving Liberty to Those We Love 378
17.True Sannyas 406
18.Great Workers with Great Tasks 422
19.Lest They Should Rest 454
20.The Ocean of Immortality 473
Appendix : 'Ole Bull' by Sister Nivedita 499
Notes 501
Bibliography 523
Index 527
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