He advocated and lived a well-harmonized spiritual life with meditation as the keynote, and love and service as the main melody. He was a source of inspiration not only to his monastic and lay disciples, but also to a large number of other people in India and abroad to whom he endeared himself by his selfless love and gracious manners.
Nothing, I say, can be done without the chain of discipleship, that is, the power that is transmitted from the Guru to the disciple, and from him to his disciple, and so on,' wrote Swami Vivekananda Complete Works, 6.
The guruparampara that Swamiji refers to began with the advent of Sri Ramakrishna. The divine Light that shone in the form of Sri Ramakrishna lighted many lamps before merging back into its Source in In turn, these bright lamps, blazing with the Light of divine realisation and love, lighted many other lamps-thus establishing a spiritual tradition parampara that continues to guide and nurture the spiritual aspirations of millions the world over.
One such light from this spiritual tradition of Sri Ramakrishna was revered Swami Yatiswaranandaji Maharaj , an eminent monk and Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Order. This book contains reminiscences of the Swami by monks and lay devotees. Long overdue, this publication is an earnest attempt to give an idea of the spiritual treasure and realisation enshrined in this spiritual tradition of the Ramakrishna Order.
Swami Vivekananda also remarked Complete Works, 6. The disciples of all the prophets have always inextricably mixed up the ideas of the Master with the person, and at last killed the ideas for the person.
The disciples of Sri Ramakrishna must guard against doing the same thing. Work for the idea, not the person. Taking a cue from this, the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission have generally desisted from publishing books on the lives and teachings of the great monks who enriched its spiritual tradition.
Indeed, one of the important aspects of the spiritual ministrations of the Ramakrishna Order is that it is impersonal, yet deeply intimate. This book provides a glimpse of this impersonal-personal character of the guruparampara in the Ramakrishna Order, where the emphasis has always been on the divine personalities of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda.
He returned to India in A much respected senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order, and later on its Vice-President, the Swami was one among the foremost disciples of Swami Brahmananda, the great disciple of Sri Ramakrishna. Most of these reminiscences of Swami Yatiswarananda are being published in the present form nearly 48 years after his demise.
They are a valuable source of spiritual insights and practical suggestions for spiritual aspirants. We are thankful to all the contributors, who responded to our request and shared their personal and sacred memories. Some of these reminiscences were collected from earlier publications that featured them. We thank all the publishing agencies for their kind permission to reproduce these reminiscences.
A book of reminiscences is bound to have repetition of incidents and facts. While one might view them as repetitions, one cannot help appreciating the varied ways in which these are stated and viewed. Each reiteration lends a new shade of meaning to a 'known fact', placing it in a newer and vastly different context and setting.
Moreover, although they might look 'repeated', they have a sacred value for the person who recalls them with deep nostalgia and respectful feelings.
Hence, we have made little effort in removing these references and have instead retained them as recalled by various contributors. The book has been divided into six sections including his letters and stray writings and has three appendices. A number of pictures have been included in the book. A good number of these have been provided by Mr John Manetta an initiated disciple of Swami Yatiswaranandaji from Greece who years ago scanned the original pictures preserved at Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore, and gave us the soft copies.
These include most of the pictures of Swami Yatiswaranandaji taken in Europe and America in western attire and India. Some of the pictures have been given by monks and devotees from their personal collection. This book has a number of pictures of Swami Yatiswaranandaji in western clothes. The following will help the readers see things in perspective: It has been the practice with most monks of the Ramakrishna Order in our centres in the West to use western attire especially during travel.
This has been the practice since Swami Vivekananda's visit to the US. This helps them blend with the people instead of being an object of attention. However, they wear their ochre robes when they are in their centres, performing their daily activities, which include conducting worship and giving lectures and classes.
In order to provide an idea of Swami Yatiswaranandaji' s style of speaking and voice, recordings of his lectures delivered in various places are provided in the CD enclosed in the back inner flap of the book jacket in the second volume. While at Bangalore, in , he received from Swami Purushottamananda, tape-recorder reels of Swami Yatiswaranandaji's 16 lectures including one recording of his chanting of Sanskrit verses , to convert them to audio cassettes for the Math. He carefully preserved those all these years and finally transferred them to a CD in after some improvements.
Swami Raghuramananda of Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore, coordinated with the sound engineers at the well-known Prabhat Studio in Bangalore to further enhance the sound quality of the recordings. These recordings, we may mention here, were done by various monks and devotees with whatever recording machines available with them. As most of these audio files are NOT studio recordings and were done while a lecture was in progress, there are variations in the quality of the sound and -clarity of recordings.
Album artwork designed by Melissa Schmitt at Schmitt Creative . Album artwork designed by Melissa Schmitt at Schmitt Creative .
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