It is a matter of great privilege for us on presenting before our readers the first volume of Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita in English. Sri Thakur has been wonderfully gracious to reward our endeavor, that the words emanated from His holy lips and kept carefully unalloyed by M. should be translated word for word from Bengali to English. This further strengthens our resolve to publish all the five parts of Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita in the same sequence as published by revered M. in original Bengali. The first part is a verbatim translation of the original Bengali that maintains the sequence of all chapters.
Before you dive deep into the Kathamrita, a look at its publishing history would be of good interest to you. The five volumes of Kathamrita in Bengali saw the light of the day in the years 1902, 1904, 1908, 1910 and 1932. While you read all the five volumes, you can see through the development of M.’s mind: from intellectual to intellectual-spiritual, from intellectual-spiritual to spiritual-intellectual and from spiritual-intellectual to pure spiritual and then the practical pure spiritual state. In the first volume of the Kathamrita, we find the profound truths explained with the help of illustrations with an intellectual reasoning. For example, the tortoise moves about in water but do you know where its mind abides? Rub your hands with oil before you break the jack fruit, etc. In Volume II of the Kathamrita, the highest Truth is explained by an intellect that is soaked in Spirit. In Part III, you will find Sri Ramakrishna expounding sublime truths with totally spiritual intellect. In Volume IV the practical spirit shows the way to bring the injunctions into practice and how to internalize the Word. And in Part V, we find the Organized Spirit in action: its interface with the world and the concordance of the Word. In short, the five volumes of the Kathamrita are the five steps leading us from the gross to Mahakarana (the Great Cause).
Smt. Ishwar Devi Gupta discovered this fountain of divine joy and peace in the holy conversations of M. in 1958 in the Bengali Sri Ma Darshan. Inspired by this long cherished discovery, she started translating them into Hindi as a prayerful offering for her own sake and for the Hindi knowing brothers and sisters. The day she completed the translation of sixteenth volume of Sri Ma Darshan into Hindi, she was reminded of the words of her Gurudeva, Swami Nityatmananda, “Mummy, you must translate Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita too, as you have been translating Sri Ma Darshan from Bengali to Hindi.’ So, the next day she started the yeoman task of translating the five parts of Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita into Hindi.
Sri Dharm Pal Gupta started the task of translating them into English maintaining the same spirit of faithful translation. And before he left this world in 1998, he had completed the colossal work of translating all the five parts of Kathamrita into English. Thereafter, an effort has been made for the presentation of the Word.
Sri Ma Trust offers its sincere gratitude to all those bhaktas and friends who are helping in any way in financing, production, publication and distribution of the volumes. Special mention must be made of Sri Lakshmi Niwas Jhunjhunwala, Dr. Kamal Gupta, Sangeeta Kapoor, Vinay Mehta and Nitin Nanda. May our readers, friends and associates attain supreme bliss and peace – this is our heartfelt prayer at the feet of the Lord.
Monday, January 01, 2001