Ramakrishna himself did not write anything, but he inspired others to write about him. He had hardly any formal education, but he was a scholar par excellence. He knew more than books can teach. His life was inspired, and is still inspiring, people to write about him. Max Muller called him 'not only a high-souled man, a real Mahatman, but a man of original thought.' Tolstoy described Ramakrishna as 'a remarkable sage,' and his sayings as 'wonderful'. Christopher Isherwood said he was a 'phenomenon'. Romain Rolland, an authority on music, described him as 'the symphony of India.' Nicholas de Roerich, Thomas Mann, and Rabindranath Tagore paid similar tributes. Song, hymns, poems, plays, long and learned dissertations, large volumes of biography, and philosophical analyses of his teachings appear regularly. His Gospel has been translated into every major language of the world, and his thoughts and ideas have enriched the world's literature. He is a perennial source of interest for study and research by scholars and seekers of truth. This humble man, who was almost illiterate, is now an important figure in the world of letters.
Swami Lokeswarananda, a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, is the Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta. His publications include The Way to God as taught by Sri Ramakrishna, Practical Spirituality, Religion and Culture, etc.
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