“Travel in all the four quarters of the earth, yet you will find nothing anywhere. Whatever there is, is only here.”
About Sri Ramakrishna
Ramakrishna (18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886) was a famous mystic of 19th-century India. His religious school of thought led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda. He is also referred to as “Paramahamsa” by his devotees, as such he is popularly known as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Ramakrishna was born in a poor Brahmin , Vaishnava family in rural Bengal. He became a priest of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali, which had the influence of the main strands of Bengali bhakti tradition. The most widely known amongst his first spiritual teachers was an ascetic woman, called Bhairavi Brahmani, who was skilled in Tantra and Vaishnava bhakti. Later an Advaita Vedantin ascetic taught him non-dual meditation, and he experienced nirvikalpa samadhi under his guidance.
About the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna translated by Swami Nikhilananda is an English translation of the Bengali religious text Sri Sri Rāmakrishna Kathāmrita. The text records conversations of Ramakrishna with his disciples, devotees, and visitors, recorded by Mahendranath Gupta, who wrote the book under the pseudonym of “M.” The first edition was published in 1942.
Swami Nikhilananda worked with Margaret Woodrow Wilson, daughter of President Woodrow Wilson. Margaret helped the swami to refine his literary style into “flowing American English”. The mystic hymns were rendered into free verse by the American poet John Moffitt. Wilson and American scholar Joseph Campbell helped edit the manuscript. Swami Nikhilananda wrote that he had written an accurate translation of the Kathamrita, “omitting only a few pages of no particular interest to English-speaking readers” and stating that “often literary grace has been sacrificed for the sake of literal translation.”