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

By Jyotirmaya Sharma

In this 3rd installment of his entire historical past of “India’s faith” and reappraisal of Hindu id, Professor Jyotirmaya Sharma deals an attractive 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 various 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 wonderful reexamination of 1 of India’s so much debatable spiritual figures and a desirable research of the symbiosis of Indian background, 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 position in shaping modern India.

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745, 459. 5 A Restatement of Religion dreaded acquiring them even for his own self. 11 To possess occult powers was troublesome. Once Hriday, Ramakrishna’s nephew, egged him on to pray to Kali for bestowing Ramakrishna some occult powers. In his childlike gullibility, Ramakrishna did exactly that. Here is his account of the consequences of the prayer: The Divine Mother at once showed me a vision. A middle-aged prostitute, about forty years old, appeared and sat with her back to me. She had large hips and wore a black-bordered sāri.

Gospel, p. 336. 46. , pp. 701-2. 47. , p. 702. 48 But a householder also has to surmount impediments that lie in the way of practising spiritual discipline. 49 After producing one or two children, the ideal way forward for the husband and wife is to live like siblings. In doing so, they can continue to practise seven kinds of sexual intercourse. 50 Sitting with a woman, talking to a woman for a long time, listening and enjoying a conversation with a woman, to speak about a woman, to whisper to her privately, to keep something belonging to a woman, and enjoying it and touching a woman are the seven kinds of sexual intercourse Ramakrishna permits householders.

I am very much afraid of women. When I look at one I feel as if a tigress were coming to devour me. Besides, I find that their bodies, their limbs, and even their pores are very large. This makes 52. , p. 387. The phrase about a monk enjoying a woman being similar to licking one’s own spittle after having spat it out once appears again on p. 701. 28 Ramakrishna’s One-fourth me look upon them as she-monsters. I used to be much more afraid of women than I am at present. I wouldn’t allow one to come near me.

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