Ramakrishna And Christ: Supermystics represents the first comprehensive study to compare the lives and spiritual beliefs of Ramakrishna, the 19th century Indian saint, and Christ, his Western version. From interpretations of Christ from an India yoga viewpoint to insights into Krishna's life, Ramakrishna And Christ: Supermystics is packed with intriguing comparisons and insights.
This unique book seems to be one of a growing number of works that are being written for Westerners who possess an abiding interest in Eastern mysticism. In this instance it concerns the origins and ascendancy of two great souls from very different times and cultures, who nonetheless have much in common. One is Ramakrishna, perhaps the greatest Hindu mystic in centuries and largely unknown in the West; the other, Jesus of Nazereth, who became the Christ. Factual information and direct or second-hand knowledge of Ramakrishna is vastly more abundant - living as he did in mid nineteenth century India, but nonetheless colored by the same adorational bias that afflicts most Western minds when examining the life of Jesus. Dr. Hourihan's interpretation of the life and teaching of Jesus are heavily influenced by the timely rediscovery of various Gnostic texts, many of which were contemporary with the early "orthodox" texts from which the Bible of today was constructed. "New Interpretations" does seem to be an appropriate subtitle. Hourihan presents one of the most rational and believable explainations of Jesus ministry that I've seen anywhere. The mystery surrounding his birth and family, the reason he came to the Jews and taught and behaved as he did and even the necessity of his crucifixion are all cogently explained from a mystical perspective. However, his exploration of Jesus relationship with Mary Magdalene appears conjectural and highly imaginative. The book is written by a scholar in a scholarly style and is not an easy read. The readers persistence will be richly rewarded though, because it contains many luminous insights and captivating ideas for the unbiased seeker of truth.