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My days with Sri Ma Anandamayi

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"She would say in humility, 'I am a little girl only. I have not been educated at all', but I have heard the effervescence of Veda-Vedanta pouring forth from her divine lips."
 Mahamandaleswar 1008 Sri Vidyanandaji Maharaj, Kailash Ashram, Rishikesh

For a span of more than fifty years Sri Ma Anandamayi dominated gracefully the spiritual horizon of India. The keepers of the Vedic heritage - the ascetics orders of India - were united in declaring her the quintessence of the Upanishadic Spirit. Eminent philosophers like Mahendra N. Sarkar and P.M.P. Mahadevan acknowledged her utterances as authoritative.

Much has been written about Sri Ma by erudite scholar as well as ordinary men and women. The present book is a lively and engaging account of Sri Ma's enigmatic personality from the point of view of a single devoted family. It is an intimate and moving study of personal commitments. Yet through the author's perspective an emerging modern society is glimpsed where orthodox rites, political upheavals, social changes create the shifting patterns of a kaleidoscope. Sri Ma and her entourage of visiting dignitaries, princes, scholars, village women and children, and renowned ascetics assume a three-dimensional image. According to Richard Lannoy, who has written the Foreword, the book is a valliant attempt at closing the distance between the known and the unfathomable.

"Trained in the highest rigours of academic discipline in renowned universities of India and Canada, Bithika Mukerji, being very close to Anandamayi Ma from early childhood, was able to observe from near rare dimensions of a surpassingly beautiful spiritual being. Her reminiscences of her days with the Mother consequently, have an authenticity, charm and insight difficult to come by.
(Manas Mukul Das, Professor of English, University of Allahabad)

CONTENTS

 Foreword by Richard Lannoy 9
 Preface 15
1. The Advent of Sri Ma in our Lives 21
2. My Family 31
3. My cousins Meet Sri Ma 46
4. Changing Times 59
5. A Marriage and a Death in the Family 76
6. Our Entry into the World of Sadhus 91
7. Renu's Marriage with N.P. Chatterji 103
8. The Break in my University Career 117
9. In Solon with Sri Ma (1946) 131
10. Summer Vacation at Kishenpur Ashram (1947) 150
11. Raipur and Solon Revisted 165
12. One Year of my Life as an Ashramite 179
13. The Best Years of the Ashram in Varanasi 195
14. Sri Ma and the Kanyapeeth 211
15. The Message of Sri Ma Anandamayi 227
16. Bindu and I Take up Jobs 235
17. Sri Ma's Birthday Celebration at our Home 256
18. Random Memories 264
19. An Invitation from Abroad 283
20. At the Chateau de Bossey 299
21. On the Way to Canada 313
22. My Research Project 322
23. The Ati-Rudra Yajna at Haradwar 335
24. "I Am Ever With You" 347
 Glossary 363

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