Kalpa Tree Press
Contemporary Classics in Vedanta




Vedanta Online

This issue features "Universal Values for the World Conscience" by Shelley Brown

Vedanta Glossary
of Sanskrit and Bengali words, with guide to English pronunciation



“Sister Gargi will be forever in our memory for her contribution to the development of the Vivekananda Retreat at Ridgely. As its first president, she gave generously of her knowledge of Swami Vivekananda and of her energies to help create the retreat as a place for serious spiritual practice.”
—Swami Swahananda, Head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California and of the Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely.

“’Many are called, but few are chosen.’ Sister Gargi was chosen by the Divine to dedicate her life to Swami Vivekananda and his work. Her painstaking research on Swami Vivekananda in newspapers and other sources produced magnificent fruit: the six massive volumes on Swamiji’s work in the West. Students of Swami Vivekananda and of universal religion will remain ever in deep gratitude. May her soul rest in peace.”
—Swami Tathagatananda, Head of the Vedanta Society of New York

"In the passing of Sister Gargi, we have lost more than a warm friend and a wise elder sister, more even than an inspired writer who brought our sacred history to life—for Sister Gargi was, in the best sense, an institution: she bridged cultures and continents, connected generations past and present, and preserved traditions and sacred memories. Yet in the midst of it all, we knew Sister Gargi as a wonderful personality who, in her own life, combined serious spiritual training with cultivation, sophistication, and spontaneous fun; her company was always a joy as well as a blessing.”
—Swami Atmarupananda, Vivekananda Retreat, Ridgely

"What a rare soul Gargi was, and what a monumental loss her passing is."
—Swami Atmajnanananda, Vedanta Center of Greater Washington, D.C.


"Indeed, we have lost a great divine manifestation in the form of Gargi. She must have now reached Vivekananda's parlour and enjoying Divine Bliss. But our loss is irreparable. What to do! May the Lord's will be fulfilled."
Swami Atmasthananda, vice-president, Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission

I felt sad at the news of the demise of Sister Gargi, though I consider the way she left the world as a wonderful one. She left for the abode of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swamiji, `free of pain or any major discomfort' and it was on the campus of Gurumaharaj viz. the Convent of the Vedanta Society of Northern California. How wonderful! I am reminded of a proverb in Telugu (from Andhra Pradesh, India): “Manchi Vaalliki Maranamey Saksi” —“The kind of Death that proves the holiness of a good person!” I first saw her at Bombay in 1970s. We all were invited to Mr.Ganjawalla's (joint family) house for lunch on that day. The late Swami Niramoyanandaji, the head of Bombay Centre, myself, Sister Gargi and some devotees went to South Bombay where Ganjawalla stayed. On the way (nearly 10 kms.), I started conversing with Sister Gargi about some topic connected with Swamiji. I could see her eyes suddenly widen and flash with a keen interest and light which was uncommon. Later I found her that way whenever I discussed Swamiji or Thakur with her. I thought that she looked so young for her age because of her constant thoughts about the eternally young Guru, Swamiji.

I later on met her practically every year she visited Belur Math and she would feel glad to greet me and we would exchange a few sentences. I heard her first speech at Belur Math, on the evening of Holy Mother's Birthday of 1993,1994 or 1995. She referred to Holy Mother's special grace and power to her which helped her to overcome a personal problem that even Sri Ramakrishna, she jokingly said, had not given solution over years! Later I learned more specific details of the “personal problem.” Even as the writing of Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna by M inspired many scholars and devotees to take up writing similar works, Sister Gargi's new line of literary research to produce six volumes of Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries has inspired many young scholars in India to take up similar research. Professor Sankari Prasad Basu’s several volumes on Swami Vivekananda in India provide one example of such important work, and his books about Sister Nivedita are another. There is no doubt that Sister Gargi has left an indelible mark on the literature concerning Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, Vivekananda, and Neo-Vedanta. I convey my prayers for her eternal peace to Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swamiji.
—Swami Gautamananda, president of the Ramakrishna Math, Chennai,India

“I am so sorry to hear of Sister’s passing away. She will be ever remembered as a sterling disciple of Swami Ashokanandaji and for her immense contribution to Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature. It was divinely ordained that she could implicitly follow her guru’s instruction to write about him after being done with all her other works. My humble prayers to Thakur and Ma on behalf of the great soul, who will continue to be an inspiration to many.”
—Swami Yuktatmananda, editor of Prabuddha Bharata, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, India

"The devotees of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda would always be in Sister Gargi's debt for her stupendous contribution. I am convinced she was one brought by Swami Vivekananda for just such a task. Sister Gargi will always be an inspiration to all future writers and workers. Strangely I feel there is no need to pray for her; for Swami Vivekananda would have take care of her. Yet from a human point of view I offer my heartfelt prayers on her behalf. May Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swami Vivekananda bestow their Blessings on their beloved child."
—Swami Dayatmananda, head of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, England

The above quotations were printed with permission.

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