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Introductory Books

Swami Vivekananda’s Address at the Parliament of Religions

On September 11, 1893, at the World Parliament of Religions, Swami Vivekananda, the representative of the ancient Hindu religion, opened his speech with the words “Sisters and brothers of America,” which drew a thunderous applause from thousands of people assembled there. Over the course of the next two weeks, he gave a number of speeches at the Parliament, dealing with topics ranging from Vedanta, Hinduism and the idea of a Universal Religion. “I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.” – Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekananda’s Four Yogas – Karma Yoga; Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work or worship or psychic control or philosophy, by one or more or all of these โ€“ and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines or dogmas, rituals or books, temples or forms, are but secondary details. – Swami Vivekananda. The four books – Karma Yoga (The Path of Action), Bhakti Yoga (The Path of Devotion), Raja Yoga (The Path of Meditation) and Jnana Yoga (The Path of Knowledge) – are lectures given by Swami Vivekananda in the U.S and England. They serve as manuals for every spiritual aspirant, with the deep truths of Vedanta brought out in a powerful, yet simple, language.

Lives of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda

Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda are the guiding lights of Practical Vedanta in the modern age. For more than a hundred years, their lives and teachings have been and continue to inspire millions of people around the world. There are a number of biographies of these three, some of which are:

Sri Ramakrishna The Great Master (by Swami Saradananda) A Short Life of Sri Ramakrishna (by Swami Tejasananda) Life of Holy Mother (3 books written by Swamis Nikhilananda, Tapasyananda and Gambhirananda) Holy Mother and Her Divine Play (by Swami Chetanananda) A Short Life of Holy Mother (by Swami Tejasananda) Swami Vivekananda, A Biography (by Swami Nikhilananda) Life of Swami Vivekananda (by Eastern and Western Disciples) A Short Life of Swami Vivekananda (by Swami Tejasananda)

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna contains daily conversations with Sri Ramakrishna, written down by his disciple Mahendranath Gupta in Bengali and later translated into English by Swami Nikhilananda. With characteristically simple language and using common examples and parables, Sri Ramakrishna provides spiritual guidance to one and all in the path to God realization.

“Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God? So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and other household duties. But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in haste, and takes the child in her arms.” Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Gospel of Holy Mother

The Gospel of Holy Mother contains conversations of various disciples with Sri Sarada Devi. In Her inimitable style, the Holy Mother provides guidance, solace and support to spiritual seekers.