Top 10 Books on Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

 

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the guru of Swami Vivekananda as we know him had more about his personality than just this. Born in a religious family in Calcutta, West Bengal, as a young man, he was an artist, a popular storyteller and an actor. Ramakrishna’s father while on a pilgrimage had a vision of Lord Vishnu where he told him that he would be born into his family as a son. Interestingly enough, as a young child, Ramakrishna was prone to experiences of spiritual reverie and temporary loss of conscience.

He had little interest in school or the worldly things, he gave up the worldly pleasures and became a saint in 1886. He devoted himself to the worship of Goddess Kali, who he sought to see. As time passed and no signs of the Goddess appeared, he got frustrated and threatened to kill himself with the ritual dagger that the idol of Kali holds in her hand, at that point, he is said to have had a vision of the goddess herself where everything blurred out, and he bowed before the goddess. After this event, his activities grew more eccentric, and his parents married him off thinking that this would bring him to his senses.

With time people got to know about him, and a yogin named Totapuri became his mentor and learned Vedanta philosophy from him. He was probably the most celebrated mystic of all times with a childlike enthusiasm for his service to God and the most complex concepts of spirituality.

 

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

It offers the reader a deep understanding of the spiritualism if Swami Ramakrishna.

Read it For:
A landmark in the religious history.
Don't Read it For:
If you have not read the previous volumes, you might not understand the content of the book completely.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is now a worldwide gem in its kind of books

Sri Sri Ramakrishna

This is the volume 1 of Mahendranath Gupta's books on the saint and contains the dialogues of the Bengali saint with a word to word accuracy.

Read it For:
Gives you a better understanding of the saint.
Don't Read it For:
You might feel the book is biased for Mahendranath was a disciple of Ramakrishna.
What makes this book stand out?:
The first book of the 5 volumes which tell you in detail about the saint.

Sri Ramakrishna, The Great Master

It is the English version of Sri Ramakrishna Lilaprasanga, a faithful record and description of Ramakrishna’s life by one of his faithful disciples.

Read it For:
Swami Sardananda provided a detailed description of Ramakrishna’s life from his days as his disciple in the 19th century.
Don't Read it For:
Those who have read the Bengali version by find that one better.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is the most comprehensive, critical and authentic detail of Sri Ramakrishna’s life.

Ramakrishna and his disciples

The book talks about Ramakrishna as a phenomenon rather than a holy learned man.

Read it For:
Blends well western curiosity with spirituality and their struggle to understand it.
Don't Read it For:
The reference of a phenomenon given to Ramakrishna might not sit well with all followers.
What makes this book stand out?:
A biography of Ramakrishna for the West and from the West.
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Life of Ramakrishna

It is a beautiful translation of the saint’s journey from French, presenting his story in a captivating manner. It was first published around the 1900s.

Read it For:
It has become a classic and is used in many colleges as an introduction to the saint.
Don't Read it For:
The vocabulary will make you make you consult dictionary frequently.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is the life of Ramakrishna penned by a Noble Prize winner.

Practical Vedanta

It talks about a bigger force, faith in yourself which can change the world for you and open doors

Read it For:
It talks about the power in you, your faith.
Don't Read it For:
For those looking for some external support force, this might be a disappointment.
What makes this book stand out?:
This is an ode to his master by one of Ramakrishna’s most renowned and one of his favourite disciples makes it one of the best books on Ramakrishna.

Kali’s Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna

Kripal attempts to explain what according to him was Ramakrishna and he critically analyses his philosophy and teachings creating some very controversial content in the book.

Read it For:
A new perspective of understanding towards Ramakrishna.
Don't Read it For:
This is a controversial book, and the content might disturb many.
What makes this book stand out?:
Kripal provides his explanations to phenomenon related to Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna Upanishad

It is a selection of stories and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.

Read it For:
The stories have been told in an entertaining and captivating manner.
Don't Read it For:
Translation brings down the vibe of the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The original edition in Tamil won the “Best Book in Education, Psychology and religion” aware.

A Short Life of Sri Ramakrishna

This book is a compilation of Sri Ramakrishna’s life from his birth to his last breath as he served his God and spread their message.

Read it For:
The style of writing is very fresh
Don't Read it For:
Some of the major events might have skipped out of the book
What makes this book stand out?:
It takes an attempt to cover the complete life of Ramakrishna in a single book.

Two Saints: Speculations Around and About Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Ramana Maharishi

Both of the saints have transformed many lives, and their spiritual guidance is still transforming lives. Their experiences have inspired stories but what if it all was just a neurological reaction?

Read it For:
It talks about two great saints Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Ramana Maharishi on the same pages.
Don't Read it For:
Some of the topics discussed are complex
What makes this book stand out?:
It breaks through the bondage of spirituality and talks about the experiences of the two saints in light of current neurological and psychological knowledge.

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