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The Message of the Upanisads

Swami Ranganathananda (Author)

We are happy to place before our readers this important book, The Message of the Upanisads, by Swami Ranganathananda. The lectures comprising the book were originally delivered by the Swami at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of culture, Calcutta, of which he was then the Secretary. Excepting the first lecture entitled The Charm and Power of the Upanisads, which forms the introduction to the book, all the rest were given as weekly Saturday evening lectures in the Vivekananda Hall of the Institute between May 2, 1962 and January 19, 1963, after completing the study of the three Upanisads Isa, Kena and katha, which form the theme of the present book, the Swami continued these series of weekly lectures, taking up the Gita for a similar verse by verse exposition. As in Rangoon, Karachi, and Delhi earlier, so in Calcutta, these weekly lectures of Swami Ranganathananda attracted an intelligent overflow audience, including a large number of young people. Starting with about a thousand at the opening lecture on May 2, 1962, attendance steadily rose to over sixteen hundred as the weeks passed. The nature of the theme as much as its treatment by the speaker and his mode of delivery helped to hold the attention, and sustain the interest and enthusiasm, of so vast and varied an audience, which represented a cross-section of the cosmopolitan population of the city of Calcutta and its Environs. The lectures which were delivered extempore, were tape-recorded, and later appeared, after thorough editing by the Swami, in the Institute's monthly Bulletin between August 1962 and August 1966 under the general title Our Spiritual Heritage. The charm and power of the Upanisads was a lecture which the swami delivered at the Institute's School of Humanistic and Cultural Studies on September 17, 1966 and which appeared in the Bulletin for October 1966.

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About the author

Swami Ranganathananda

Born in village of Trikkur, Kerala State, on December 15, 1908, Swami Ranganthananda joined the Ramakrishna Order, the international spiritual and cultural movement founded by Swami Vivekananda, at its branch in Mysore in 1926. He was formally initiated into Sannyasa in 1933 by Swami Shivananda, one of the eminent disciples of Sri Ramakrishna and the second President of the Order. After spending the first twelve years in the Order's branches in Mysore and Bangalore, the first six years of which as cook, dishwasher and house-keeper and later as warden of student's hostel, he worked as Secretary and librarian at the Ramakrishna Mission branch at Rangoon- from 1939 to 1942, and thereafter as President of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Karachi, from 1942 to 1948. From 1949 to 1962, he worked as the Secretary of the New Delhi branch of the Mission, and from 1962 to 1967, he was the Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Cultural Studies, and Editor of its monthly journal. From 1973 to 1993 he was President of Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad and from 1994-1998 he was Vice President of Worldwide Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. Now he is its President, and stays at Belur Math. He has undertaken extensive lecture tours form 1946 to 1972 covering 50 countries. Form 1973 to 1986 he visited annually Australia, USA, Holland and Germany. In 1986 he was awarded the first Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Message of the Upanisads
Format Softcover
Date published: 23.05.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788172765422
length 626p., 21cm.