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




By Shelley Brown

Marie Louise Burke (Sister Gargi), a leading literary figure in the Vedanta movement and a respected monastic of the Ramakrishna Order, died peacefully after a protracted illness on Tuesday, January 20, in her apartment in the convent building of the Vedanta Society of Northern California.

As Marie Louise Burke, she gained recognition as the distinguished author of the six-volume classic Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries. The New Discoveries books have become indispensable sourcebooks in India and in Vedanta circles worldwide, and the knowledge they have given of Swami Vivekananda’s personality has engaged many lives in his teachings. Her books have been widely acclaimed by writers, such as J.D. Salinger, and eminent scholars, such as Huston Smith and Gerald James Larson.

The young author met Swami Ashokananda in 1948 when he was in charge of the Vedanta Society of Northern California in San Francisco, and soon became his disciple. He encouraged her to write about Swami Vivekananda and gave her permission to write about Swami Ashokananda himself when all her other work was done. Sister Gargi’s recent books include Swami Trigunatita: His Life and Work (1997), A Heart Poured Out: A Story of Swami Ashokananda (2003), and A Disciple’s Journal: In the Company of Swami Ashokananda (2003).

Marie Louise Burke became Sister Gargi in 1974 when she took her first vows in India from the Ramakrishna Order. She was given the monastic name of Gargi, after the renowned Vedic scholar. In 1983, in recognition of her brilliant work as a researcher and a writer, she received the prestigious Vivekananda Award from the Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata.

Long respected for her scholarly accomplishments and lifelong devotion to the ideals of Vedanta, Sister Gargi has left a rich legacy for the Ramakrishna Order and for those interested in the authentic practice of Eastern religion. A memorial service was held in the Old Temple at the Vedanta Society of Northern California on February 1, 2004 at 1:00 p.m.




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