On First Meeting Swami Yogeshananda

by Tom Couch

There are no coincidences, but it sure felt like it, my first meeting with Swami Yogeshananda. The whole thing still feels a little odd. Even the circumstance leading up to our first meeting: a chance reference to an eastern system called Vedanta by a friend in a conversation on the nature of consciousness, my off-hand comment that I couldn’t reasonably go to India…

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And Then I Left

by John Scarborough

My first contact with the Ramakrishna Order came in 1967 when Swami Vividishananda (1893-1980) of the Seattle Vedanta Society (now the Vedanta Society of Western Washington) visited our philosophy class early in the fall quarter of the freshman section of the two-year undergraduate Honors Program at Seattle University.  I was thrilled to receive our summer reading assignment: 

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Stumbled into a Ramakrishna Monastery

by Nasser Behroozian

I came across Vedanta by stumbling into the Ramakrishna Monastery in Trabuco, as I have lived in Orange County for a long time. It was the early 90s. I am a Muslim. I had always been interested in the study of comparative religion, and have studied literature and western and eastern philosophy, the Gita and the Quran.

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Getting Sidetracked: A Cautionary Tale

by William Page

Devotees in the Ramakrishna tradition will be familiar with the rosary, or mala. This is a string of beads we use to keep track of how many times we chant the mantra when doing japa. Since the rosary has 108 beads, plus a head bead, one round of the rosary constitutes 108 repetitions. If you think about it, the rosary embodies some nice symbolism.

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The Interfaith – Interspiritual Circle

by Richard Simonelli

Some faith traditions or organized religions are inherently interfaith or interspiritual in their intention. Most, however, tend to be separating or “one way” approaches – “my way or the highway.” The interfaith-friendly ways don’t necessarily encourage people to take a-little from here and a-little-from-there as eclectics or even as dilettantes.

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For Personal Liberation and the Welfare of the World

by Patrick Horn

Many people today are alarmed by the condition of the world. The bad news seems to get worse by the hour. Not only is there social disorder and political mayhem, war and rumors of war, famine, unprecedented numbers of refugees, and contagious epidemics, but it is impossible to deny the fact of climate change.

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An Avatar’s Dictionary

by Dhruva

I lived at the Belur Math for three years (1971 to 1974) and took advantage of the opportunity to learn Sanskrit.  This became a gift that kept on giving — especially when I realized that half of all Bengali words derive from Sanskrit. The unexpected gift was that I soon was able to read Sri Ramakrishna’s words just as he spoke them in Bengali.

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