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The Gospel of Ramakrishna, ed. by Swami Abhedananda, [1907], at

p. vii


This is the authorized English edition of the "Gospel of Râmakrishna." For the first time in the history of the world's Great Saviours, the exact words of the Master were recorded verbatim by one of His devoted disciples. These words were originally spoken in the Bengali language of India. They were taken down in the form of diary notes by a householder disciple, "M." At the request of Srî Râmakrishna's Sannyâsin disciples, however, these notes were published at Calcutta during 1902–1903 A.D., in Bengali, in two volumes, entitled "Râmakrishna Kathâmrita."

At that time "M" wrote to me letters authorizing me to edit and publish the English translation of his notes, and sent me the manuscript in English which he himself translated, together with a true copy of a personal

p. viii

letter * which Swâmi Vivekânanda wrote to him.

At the request of "M" I have edited and remodelled the larger portion of his English manuscript; while the remaining portions I

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have translated directly from the Bengali edition of his notes. The marginal headings, foot-notes, and index, as well as the division of the Gospel into fourteen chapters, were added by me. I have endeavored to make every word of this edition as literal, simple, and colloquial as possible.

Some repetitions are purposely kept to show how the Master used the same illustrations on different occasions during the course of His eloquent conversations.

The completed work is now offered to the Western World with the sincere hope that the sublime teachings of Srî Râmakrishna may open the spiritual sight of seekers after Truth, and bring peace and freedom to all souls struggling for realization.

Swâmi Abhedânanda.

   New York,
December 15, 1907.


viii:* Swami Vivekânanda's letter to "M."

(True Copy.)

Dehra Doon,
24th Nov., 1897.

My dear Master Mahasaya:

Many thanks for your second leaflet. It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original, and never the life of a great teacher was brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind as you are doing. The language also is beyond all praise. So fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy.

I cannot express in adequate terms how I have enjoyed them. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? Our teacher and Lord was so original and each one of us will have to be original or nothing. I now under. stand why none of us attempted his life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently. With all love and namaskar.

(Sd.) Vivekânanda.

P.S.—Socratic dialogues are Plato all over. You are entirely hidden. Moreover, the dramatic part is infinitely beautiful. Everybody likes it—here or in the West.

(Sd.) V.

This letter of Swami Vivekânanda shows that the words of the Master were accurately recorded by "M."

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