Author: Amiya Prosad SenPublisher: Indian Institute of Advanced StudyYear: 2001Language: EnglishPages: 158ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185952876
This monograph critically analyses the life and times of the world-renowned Bengali mystic, and brings out historical circumstances under this great saint of India became popular as well as the universal nature of Hindu cultural, social and religious ethos of India.In essence, this collection of essays represents a contribution towards the writing of social history, more so the social and intellectual history of religion. Thematically, these essays deal with the life and times of the famed Bengali mystic Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa (1836-86) and seek to bring out in clearer relief, the dialogic process that tied the saint to his many admirers, across time and tradition. One of the important arguments of this work is that while specific historical conjunctures as say the colonial society of late 19th century Bengal do explain why certain elements of the saint's life and teachings become attractive for several stratas in contemporary society, his popularity as a social being or importance as a religious figure has also to be understood outside such short term temporalities. Not all of the Ramakrishna that we know is the tendentious construction of the contemporary bhadralok. A good part of his appeal also seems to lie in the fact that his preachings and parables reflect a fairly continuous history of certain upper-caste cultural beliefs and practices.
ForewordPrefaceIntroductionCHAPTER IThe Anatomy of a Text. Sri Ramakrishna and the writing of the Sri Sri Ramakrishna KathamritaCHAPTER IIThe Dialogic Process. Sri Ramakrishna and social anxieties in late nineteenth century BengalCHAPTER IIIThe Religious Worlds of Sri Ramakrishna.An Historical and Philosophical Reappraisal(i) Universality and Sri Ramakrishna(ii) Sri Ramakrishna and Brahminical Thought. An Exploratory EssaySelect Bibliography