The truths he preaches would have been as true, had he never been born. Nay more, they would have been equally authentic. The difference would have lain in their difficulty of access, in their want of modern clearness and incisiveness of statement, and in their loss of mutual coherence and unity. Had he not lived, texts that today will carry the bread of life to thousands might have remained the obscure disputes of scholars. He taught with authority, and not as one of the Pundits. For he himself had plunged to the depths of the realization which he preached, and he came back, like Ramanuja, only to tell its secrets to the pariah, the outcast, and the foreigner.
- Sister Nivedita
A lot of imagination seems to have gone into his work in that the pictures have been arranged chronologically, divided into nine chapters. Each chapter begins with a short biographical not covering the chapter. The scripts for the pictures are often quotations from the Swami's varied writings and speeches; in some cases they narrate some relevant incident in his life and in others give the impressions of some contemporaries of Swamiji.
On the whole, this is a valuable addition to the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature and is worthy of preservation in every home devoted to their ideals.
- Amrita Bazar Patrika
A good biography should fulfil two conditions. First, it should present what Aldous Huxley called the 'whole truth' about the subject's life, and not merely selected facts which conform to the author's predisposition. Second, comments should be limited only to such extent as is essential for the reader to understand the subject. The life of a truly great man is generally as complex and kaleidoscopic as history, but in both cases if only the facts are presented faithfully without any attempt to embellish them a meaningful pattern is sure to emerge.
is a competent production. The pictures have been arranged chronologically as far as possible, and most of them are accompanied by an appropriate quotation which helps one to understand its relevance.
- Hindusthan Standard
THE first edition was not long in being sold out, and there has been a persistent demand for a second. We now have pleasure in offering a thoroughly—revised second edition. In the light of recent research, some pictures have been re—positioned. Two have been added to cover more adequately Swami’s wanderings in Gujarat; and also two newly—discovered ones: (1) in a house—boat in Kashmir (p. 80), and (2) at Ridgely Manor (p. 87).
We trust this edition will be received with the same enthusiasm as the first.
DURING the birth centenary of Swami Vivekananda, which was observed recently in India and in many other parts of the world, need was keenly felt for a comprehensive album bringing together all the available pictures of Swami Vivekananda, as well as pictures concerning him. This album seeks to fulfil that need, and it is now presented as a humble offering to the memory of Swami Vivekananda whose life and teachings are a perennial source of inspiration and strength.
In his short but eventful life, Swami Vivekananda came in contact with many eminent people and visited many places in both East and West. Within the limitations of this album, it is not possible to include, though we wish we could, the pictures of all those persons and places. Every attempt has been made, however, to include as many as possible of the most important among them. It has been difficult to ascertain correctly the place and time of some pictures of the Swami. We have assigned these to the most probable place and time within the body of the book, but have added a note at the end, stating the other views regarding these pictures.
At the side of each picture is given either a quotation from the Swami’s writings and spoken words or an account of a relevant incident in his life. By this means we have tried to provide an insight into his personality as well as an explanation of each picture.
The story of the Swami’s life, as told through these pictures and their accompanying quotations or narrative, has been divided into seven chapters, and each chapter is introduced by an account of the Swami’s life during that period.
Thus the introductions to the chapters together constitute a connected but brief biography of the Swami. The eighth chapter is devoted to the Swami’s brother- disciples, and includes photographs of them and the narration of some incident in their lives concerning Swami Vivekananda.
A list of acknowledgements is given below. In addition we extend our thanks to the many monks of the Ramakrishna Order and the many centres of the Ramakrishna Mission, and also to other friends, who have contributed photographs or blocks. Our thanks are also due to Swamis Gitananda and Smaranananda who have borne the brunt of the work, and to Mrs. Irene R. Ray, formerly of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta, who kindly went through the manuscript and the proofs.
Every effort has been made to make this album a worthy memorial to the Swami. It is our hope that through this new pictorial biography readers will be helped to a better understanding of the Swami and inspired to emulate the great ideals he preached and practised.
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