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A HEART POURED OUT
A Story of Swami Ashokananda

by Sister Gargi (Marie Louise Burke)

Cloth, 472 pages
50 Illustrations
Index
LCCN 2002113577
ISBN 0-9706368-1-4
Kalpa Tree Press
$26.00
PB, 472 pages
50 Illustrations
Index
LCCN 224100143
ISBN 0-9706368-4-9
Kalpa Tree Press
$15.95



 
A HEART POURED OUT is an engaging biography that brings the reader on a powerful journey into the life story of Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), a monk of the Ramakrishna Order who developed the Vedanta movement in northern California. In 1948, Sister Gargi, then Marie Louise Burke, met Swami Ashokananda and became his disciple. It is through her vivid insider's account that we learn about the relationship of this extraordinary teacher to his students in their day-to-day spiritual training.
     From the very beginning, as a God-absorbed boy in village India, to his life as a young monk dedicated to the highest ideals of Vedanta and of Swami Vivekananda, the Order's first leader, we see the commitment and passion of Swami Ashokananda. Later, his courage becomes evident as the editor of the Order's English-language journal when he speaks out against some of the political views of Mahatma Gandhi—and again in the 1930s when he brings his teachings of Vedanta to northern California at a time when Eastern religion was considered suspicious.
      A Heart Poured Out is the first time telling of the life of Swami Ashokananda as a brilliant pioneer of Vedanta in the West. In this current climate of daily fears and obstacles, we have the opportunity to use the teachings of Swami Ashokananda to strengthen our lives with purpose, courage, and wisdom.

SISTER GARGI (MARIE LOUISE BURKE) is the award-winning author of the six-volume classic Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries—sourcebooks admired by writers such as J.D. Salinger, valued by scholars worldwide, and considered indispensable to those interested in Eastern religion. Her other works include Swami Trigunatita: His Life and Work, Vedantic Tales, and Hari the Lion.

EXCERPTS

(from the Dust Jacket)

"Who was this man that one word of his could bore its way to the very heart of my being and resound there for years like a rousing gong? This is his story as I know it."

Thus Sister Gargi introduces her biography of Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), a monk of the Ramakrishna Order who spent most of his life developing the Vedanta Society in San Francisco, where Sister Gargi—then Marie Louise Burke—met him in 1948 and became his disciple.
     As a spiritual teacher Swami Ashokananda was a powerful guide. An adherent of Advaita Vedanta, he was aware of the divinity of all life and saw in his students their potential perfection. His personality was like a flame that could change the darkest chasms of one's mind into fields of light, and his teachings brought courage and strength to hundreds of lives. . .
     A Heart Poured Out is the extraordinary saga of an authentic spiritual teacher. Swami Ashokananda's compelling personality and his training of disciples, here brought to life for the first time, will help readers of all faiths surmount the obstacles of daily life.

(from the Prologue)

Drawn by that holiness, I came to more lectures and became familiar with the thought of Vedanta; I became more and more certain, intellectually, that this was the philosophy that had always been mine. Cloudy and confused though my idea of God and the world and myself had been, it was nevertheless Vedantic through and through. To learn for the first time that these thoughts were a part of an age-old philosophy, known to millions of people, was an enormous relief to me. I had believed for years that no one in the world thought as I did and that that was because what I thought was entirely wrong—in which case, life was not worth living. But here, spoken by someone who clearly spoke from the very heart of truth was my philosophy; everything he said was my own, clarified and immensely, infinitely enriched. I needed only to change my life in accordance with it, and that, I knew, was not going to be easy. I also knew that Swami Ashokananda, through whom truth flowed unhindered, straight, was the only person on earth who could help me.

Copyright © 2005 Sister Gargi (Marie Louise Burke)




 

 

   
 

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