By Jyotirmaya Sharma

ISBN-10: 0300197403

ISBN-13: 9780300197402

In this 3rd installment of his finished historical past of “India’s faith” and reappraisal of Hindu identification, Professor Jyotirmaya Sharma deals an enticing portrait of Swami Vivekananda and his courting together with his guru, the mythical Ramakrishna. Sharma’s paintings specializes in Vivekananda’s reinterpretation and formula of numerous Indian religious and mystical traditions and practices as “Hinduism” and the way it served to create, distort, and justify a countrywide self-image. the writer examines questions of caste and the primacy of the West in Vivekananda’s imaginative and prescient, in addition to the systematic marginalization of trade religions and heterodox ideals. In doing so, Professor Sharma presents readers with an incisive entryway into nineteenth- and twentieth-century Indian background and the increase of Hindutva, the Hindu nationalist movement.
 

Sharma’s illuminating narrative is a superb reexamination of 1 of India’s such a lot debatable spiritual figures and a desirable learn of the symbiosis of Indian historical past, faith, politics, and nationwide identity. It is a vital tale for a person drawn to the evolution of 1 of the world’s nice religions and its function in shaping modern India.

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Vivekananda deified Ramakrishna but was never obliged to follow either his guru’s life or thoughts. Following the example of charismatic religious 20. , p. 263. 21. , p. 263. 12 Ramakrishna’s One-fourth leaders in the past and their devotees, Vivekananda used his adoration of Ramakrishna to justify his own reformulation of religion and of what he believed to be Hinduism. He continued to claim that all he did and said was in the spirit of Ramakrishna’s teachings and represented the Master’s essential spirit.

He will accomplish much work through you. ’8 Three elements stand out in this version of the story, a narrative separated from its 1901 telling by fourteen years. There is no mention, whatsoever, of Goddess Kali entering Vivekananda’s body. The Kali in the story is Kaliprasad Chandra, later known as Swami 7. 8. , p. 985. , p. 985. 4 Ramakrishna’s One-fourth Abhedananda, a disciple of Ramakrishna. Neither are any details of the actual transmission of Ramakrishna’s powers offered. 9 Between the conversations on 25 March and 9 April, an instance of Vivekananda going into deep meditation and samadhi is mentioned, but in both instances no direct transmission of occult powers occurs between Master and the chosen disciple.

36. , p. 116. 22 Ramakrishna’s One-fourth the Divine Mother. Only when we get past the world of appearances do we encounter Eternal Being, described as Sachchidananda or the existence-knowledge-bliss idea of the absolute. To go past the veil of ignorance and understand Mahamaya or the Great Illusion, it is important, suggests Ramakrishna, to come to grips with two aspects of Kali. These are vidya and avidya. Vidya or knowledge helps the devotee attain God through devotion, kindness, wisdom, and love.

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A Restatement of Religion: Swami Vivekananda and the Making of Hindu Nationalism by Jyotirmaya Sharma


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