Time: 115 minutes)
1.) Reminiscences of Swami
Shivananda, December, 1994
The occasion was the birth anniversary celebration of Swami
Shivananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, the second
president of the Ramakrishna Order, and Swami Shraddhananda's
guru. Swami recounted his experiences with his
2.) Satsang: On a Quote by
William Blake, August 22, 1992
The Saturday morning Satsang generally lasted about 2 hours.
Generally 25 to 40 people gathered, all familiar to and with the
Society. Tables and chairs were set up and refreshments were
served. The conversation was spontaneous. This Saturday morning,
he spoke on a William Blake poem.
3.) A Song for M., 1989
As a pre-monastic youth, Swami met M., Mahendranath Gupta, the
author of The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
He recounts the incident and the song whose lyrics he recited.
Unfortunately, the camera had been turned off when he began the
story and misses the brief introduction: M. asked the young man
to sing a song; but in those days, Swami was not the singing
kind, so M. asked him if he could at least recite some lyrics. At
this point, the camera catches the rest of the action.
The rest of the story: This was
the our first visit to Sacramento and walk with Swami
Shraddhananda. It was his custom to take a break sitting on a
bench adjacent to the Krishna Pond. Many wonderful impromptu
talks took place there. We asked him to tell the story of his
first meeting with M, hoping to get it on film. He said that his
doctor had told him that singing could be dangerous to his
health, so we begged him not to sing and turned off the camera.
4.) Gospel Reading,
September 16, 1995
This is a Saturday night class at the point where Swami's health
began to decline. Because his vision was poor, pages of the
Gospel were photocopied very large to make them legible. This
section is of special interest as both a snapshot of that period
and for the conversation that follows the reading.
5.) Satsang: The Guru/Disciple
Relationship, March 1994
This Saturday morning, Swami spoke at length about the nature of
the guru/disciple relationship after the death of the guru.
6.) Krisna Puja, August
Being a summer festival and Sacramento being very hot in the
summer, the Krishna Puja was traditionally observed outdoors at
the Krishna Pond, a particularly charming section of the garden
having an island with a life-size statue of Krishna surrounded
by a pond filled with water lilies, water hyacinths, koi and
pond life. In the course of the Puja, dusk turns to night.
Because of the outdoor setting,
remote sound, handheld camera and light, the sound
and film quality are not the best, but the subject matter makes
this footage worthwhile.