Only a giant can comprehend a giant's strength; a dwarf can at best have only a very vague and imperfect idea of giantly might. This is true about spiritual giants also-i.e., about the God-men whose mission in life is to work, not for individual salvation, but for national, nay, universal regeneration. Their genius is so uncommon, so extraordinary, and so varied in its appeal that ordinary men who lack the unique vision and keenness of perception necessary to understand and evaluate soul-force are either totally blind to their greatness or view that greatness only from this or that angle. Only the participants and helpers in the divine lila of a Saviour can fathom his depths and understand him through and through.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, both while alive on earth and after his passing, was and has been a magnet drawing human souls unto him. One is struck with wonder when one reads, in his biography, of the number and the kinds of people who resorted to him in his lifetime for solace and light, and how not even one went away with hunger unappeased or thirst unquenched. The power to charm minds and hearts, which Sri Ramakrishna possessed in an infinite measure, has not disappeared with his physical disappearance. His appeal is still compelling, still irresistible. An unending procession of thirsty souls is still on pilgrimage to the Dakshineswar of Sri Ramakrishna's personality and message, eager to have a drink divine at the Ganges of his love and wisdom.
Sri Ramakrishna has received homage both from contemporary and posterior humanity. But the one man who comprehended him in entirety, by resign to his own heights of effulgence, was Swami Vivekananda, his foremost disciple, copartner, and heir. Of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, it must be said that the one would have been, so to say, incomplete without the other. Vivekananda was rooted in Ramakrishna, and the Paramahamsa blossomed out in the Swami. How splendidly the mission of Rama-Krishna was carried out by Swami Vivekananda is now a matter of history.
Swami Vivekananda however has not given to the world a comprehensively written biography of his Master, nor an elaborately worked out thesis of his teachings. This is no cause for disappointment, however. Although Vivekananda has not given us a long biography of his Master in so many words, he has given it through his deeds, and in his glorious life which is without parallel. For what was Vivekananda's life but one continuous attempt to understand, and then to interpret his Master ot the world? And he understood the Master, not by passive listening and ready acceptance, like ordinary disciples, testing and even fighting, with the result that he knew the Master better than anyone else, both analytically and synthetically. We find however in the published writings both of the Swami, and about him, numerous references to the Paramahamsa and his life and work. These lie scattered in epistles, writings, lectures (the most important of which is My Master delivered in New York), interviews, conversations and talks, and are not available in a single and continuous narrative. In order to provide a full picture of Sri Ramakrishna in the Swami's own words al the Swami's utterances on Sri Ramakrishna, have been brought together in this brochure.
Sri Ramakrishna is a great new continent, and those who desire to traverse its wide expanses and study its flora and fauna will find it helpful to take as their guide one who knows every inch of that continent.
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