The Monk as Man: The Unknown Life of Swami Vivekananda

01 February 2011

Sankar

Penguin Books India,

256 pages, R325

Sankar’s biography focuses on the personal life of the saint: What was Vivekananda like as a man? What role did his mother play in his life, both before and after he renounced all family ties? Could he reconcile the duties of a monk with the duties of an eldest son? What prompted him to promote Vedanta and biriyani in the West? Did the long-drawn battles over family property affect his health and cut short his life? Did his sister commit suicide? Sankar’s composite picture of the monk as man has sold over one lakh copies in Bengali and this translation brings the unfamiliar Vivekananda to a larger readership.

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