First published in America in 1997, the book gives us a picture of one of Sri Ramakrishna's great disciples, whose colorful and profoundly influential life has heretofore been little known. The book, as seen from the excerpts given below, was well-received by reviewers:
This book is a masterpiece by Sister Gargi. Besides describing his life in India, the author gives a detailed account of swami Trigunatita's pioneering work in the West in nurturing the seeds of Vedanta sown there by Swamiji.
The Swami's life fills nearly two-thirds of this 434-page book. Nine appendixes form the rest of the book. The swami's visits to Tibet, his lectures on the history and philosophy of famine, doctrines of the Vedanta Society he founded, details of the Hindu Temple, some valuable spiritual instructions, a lecture on 'How to be Free' and an interview with him-these are the subjects covered in the Appendixes.
This book is a must for everyone in tough with the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Movement. An Indian edition of the book can make this possible. Let us hope it comes out soon.
The Vedanta Kesari
in [Sister Gargi's] realistic account every phase of the life and work of Swami Trigunatita has been examined faithfully and reverently but at the same time with intelligence and understanding. The character of Swami Trigunatita is portrayed as one of great sweetness and strength. Sister Gargi spent many years in the study of the subject and examined countless documents before; she writes this book. So its scholarship is unquestioned. Obviously a labour of love, the book is also a sincere tribute to those dedicated men and women whom the Swami knew and loved and who helped him in his work.
Back of the book
(1865-1915), generally known as Swami
Trigunatita, was one of the sixteen monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, the renowned Hindu saint who lived in Bengal in the latter part of the nineteenth century. As is well known, Sri Ramakrishna's chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda, took the ancient teachings of Vedanta to America at the close of the nineteenth century, imbuing them, indeed uniting them, with the universal and totally nonsectarian teachings of his Master. At the request of Vivekananda, Swami Trigunatita went to San Francisco in 1903, there to carry forward his great brother-disciple's work.
This biography of the Swami covers his life from his childhood in India, through his early life as a young monk, to his arduous work on the West Coast of America, where he laid the strong foundations of a Vedanta Society, which endures to this day.
Sister Gargi, also known as Marie Louise Burke, is the author of the well-researched and highly acclaimed sis-volume work on Swami Vivekananda's life in the West. With equal care, she has thoroughly researched this present biography of Swami Trigunatita, not minimizing the difficulties the great Swami Faced and overcame in his pioneering work in a strange land. The Swami's sweetness of character, his formidable will-power, his indomitable strength are all brought out in this book, which presents him as a real person-lovable, loving, indefatigable, and a giant of spirituality.
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