Ramakrishna & Christ, the Supermystics: New Interpretations

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9781931816007: Ramakrishna & Christ, the Supermystics: New Interpretations
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This compelling in-depth study compares the lives and teachings of Ramakrishna, the great saint of 19th century India, and Jesus Christ, the avatar of the West. It enables us to grasp the uniqueness and universal character of both of these supreme figures in each of two vast religious traditions. With the detailed information available, Dr. Hourihan covers Ramakrishna's life from his unique childhood to his remarkable marriage and beyond. He guides us through his extraordinary struggle for ever-deepening levels of God-realization far transcending our earthbound imaginings. Ramakrishna's life is very relevant to our times since it manifests the idea of unity and truth more than any we know of. "Truth is one: sages call it by various names," and "as many faiths, so many paths," were two of his declarations, discovered through direct personal experience. A significant part of the book is devoted to an interpretation of Christ's life as seen from the viewpoint of India's yoga traditions. "Ramakrishna and Christ, The Supermystics" is a timely work that provides a much-needed unifying message of the truth that forms the basis of all enduring faiths. Winner of the Best Spiritual Book Award for 2002-2003 from the Northern California Publishers & Authors (formerly Sacramento Publishers & Authors Association).

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From the Publisher:

In this compelling and pertinent work Hourihan compares the lives of the supreme figures in each of two vast religious traditions, enabling us to grasp the uniqueness and universal character of each.

Ramakrishna’s life is very relevant to our times since it manifests the idea of unity and truth more than any we know of. "Truth is one: sages call it by various names," and "as many faiths, so many paths," were two of his declarations, discovered through direct personal experience.

"Ramakrishna and Christ, The Supermystics," provides a much-needed unifying message of the truth that forms the basis of all enduring faiths. Its timely publication occurs at the dawn of a new century when interest in the spiritual insights of the East and a cooperative approach to religion are destined to become the norm.

From the Author:

Interviewer: Why did you write this book?

PH: I felt the book was needed because there was no other like it on the market. Namely, one written for Westerners who would like to become spiritual and enter into the path through the medium of a special personality like Ramakrishna. Another reason is that there is no comparison of Christ and Ramakrishna that I’m aware of. Christ should be seen the way we see Ramakrishna, not as a man apart, not as an incarnation beyond compare, but like Ramakrishna, who enables us to see Christ in a new way.

When we study Ramakrishna’s life with all its mysteries and experiences, and at the same time, in almost every other line, have a reference to Christ, this is the way to study Christ, not as someone unique from the start but someone who is struggling from the beginning to realize the identical truth that we are. The truth is not given to him; he has to struggle, fail, agonize, the way Ramakrishna did. The way we do. He is not the highest, just the first—like the first one in a group, all of whom will be saved, all of whom will cross the finish line. He is the one that reaches the goal first. We don’t feel that he’s the only runner; the others are runners too. They only take longer to reach the finish line. It is, after all, a marathon, and not a sprint.

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