In this edition, three more inspiring reminiscences viz. those of Kate Sanborn, K. S. Ghosh, and Frank Rhodehamel have been added. The source from which they have been collected has been mentioned at the end of each article. This addition has further enhanced the value and usefulness of the book.
There has been an encouraging and persistent demand recently from the student of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Literature for a fresh edition of this book, which had been long out of print. We have taken this opportunity to include in the present edition some more 'Reminiscences' of Sister Christine, published a couple of years back in Prabuddha Bharata, but not contained in the previous editions of the book.
An 'Appendix' is added at the end of the book. Strictly speaking, though they do not constitute 'Reminiscences', Miss Josephine MacLeod's letters to her niece, Alberta Sturges, reveal the force of the impact of Swami Vivekananda on Josephine's life and bring to light some hitherto unknown facets of his personality and facts about his activities. These were compiled by Professor Shoutir Kishore Chatterjee, of the University of Calcutta, from the original excerpts made available to us by the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre of England, and published in Prabuddha Bharata earlier.
With the addition of these fresh materials, we earnestly hope that the book will be warmly received by the admirers, followers, and students of Swamiji.
In this edition the book has undergone a careful revision, and four more articles, viz. those from Sister Devamata, Maud Stumm, Mrs. S. K. Blodgett, and Swami Sadashivananda have been added.
Most of these reminiscences appeared in periodicals from time to time. They are reproduced with due permission and thanks. The memories of Sister Christine are copyrighted by Shri Boshishwar Sen of Almora. In the absence of a most comprehensive term for the contributors, we have styled them as "His Eastern and Western Admirers", though some of them are disciples, some friends, and some others admirers. The last writer is rather prejudiced. His articles, however, deserved inclusion as depicting a picture not generally known.' The articles are printed almost as they appeared earlier. In Sundararama Iyer's second account, a few paragraphs summarizing Swamiji's Madras speeches have been omitted as these would have been superfluous.
A few more articles have been treated thus for similar reasons and the omitted portions have been marked with three dots.
Although these reminiscences are attractive, informative, and instructive, we must tell the readers that the publisher does not necessarily subscribe to all the opinions expressed in them. For instance, B. G. Tilak's belief that Swamiji agreed with him that the Gita does not speak of monasticism and Reeves Calkins's insinuation that in his talks Swamiji reproduced verbatim some of his set speeches are palpably wrong, and no student of Swamiji's life and works can be misled. Such errors, however, are not many. At some places we have added footnotes to rectify biographical inaccuracies.
We hope that the book will be received as a timely publication coming as it does on the eve of Swamiji's birthday centenary celebrations.
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