BOOK REVIEW

An apostle of social justice

P. SUNDARESAN



SAMOOGA-P-PORAALI SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: S.A. Rasamanickam; Sandhya Publications, 57, 53rd Street, 9th Avenue, Ashok Nagar, Chennai-600083. Rs. 100.

THIS COMPULSIVELY readable book opens with a classic poem by way of paying homage to an illustrious son of India and an apostle of social justice who stood for world peace through the universality of religious experience. The illuminating preface quotes from eminent persons across the world on Swami Vivekananda’s famous address to the World Parliament of Religions held at Chicago. To mention just two: “He [Vivekananda] is a man more learned than all of them [university professors] put together” — J.H. Wright (Harvard University); “Vivekananda’s voyage to America was the first visible sign that India was awake again not only to survive, but also to conquer.” — Aurobindo.

How Narendranath Datta underwent a spiritual transformation and evolved into Swami Vivekananda, thanks to his master Sri Ramakrishna’s initiation and constant guidance, is narrated in a gripping fashion. Before setting out on his voyage to the West, he sought and received the blessings of Sarada Devi — his guru Ramakrishna had passed away in 1886. Reading about Vivekananda’s fascination for the Bodh Gaya, pilgrimage to Varanasi, and visits to Amarnath and Kshirbhavani, one is sure to feel elevated to lofty heights.



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