The Modern Monk
" He loved French cookbooks, invented a new way of making khichdi, was interested in the engineering behind ship-building and the technology that makes ammunition. More than 100 years after his death, do we really know or understand the bewildering, fascinating, complex man Swami Vivekananda was? Vivekananda is one of the most important figures in the modern imagination of India. He is also an utterly modern man, consistently challenging his own views, and embracing diverse, even conflicting arguments. It is his modernity that appeals to us today. He is unlike any monk we have known. He is confined neither by history nor by ritual, and is constantly questioning everything around him, including himself. It is in Vivekananda’s contradictions, his doubts, his fears and his failings that he recognise his profoundly compelling divinity—he teaches us that to try and understand God, first one must truly comprehend one’s own self. This book is an argument that it is not just because he is close to God but also because he is so tantalisingly immersed in being human that keeps us returning to Vivekananda and his immortal wisdom. "