The Nectar of the Master's Speech

An Anatomy of Ramakrishna's Kathamrita

  • Narasingha Prosad Sil Western Oregon University
Keywords: SriM, kathamrita, vijnan, Kali, Ramakrishna, Daksineshvar, kamini-kanchan, sexuality, Krishna, widow, khisti



The famous spiritual personality of mid-Victorian Bengal, Sri Ramakrishna (monastic name of Gadadhar Chattopadhyay) was, like Socrates of Hellenic Athens, an oral prophet.  His method of teaching and preaching was through informal and homely homilies and anecdotes.  These, compiled and subsequently published by his devotee Mahendranath Gupta (alias SriM), have been translated from the original Bāṅglā into numerous languages of India and the world titled as Ramakrishna Kathāmṛta.  The contents of this compilation have universally been considered deeply spiritual albeit delivered in patois Bengali befitting the nearly illiterate speaker.  There are no studies, hagiographical or hermeneutical, examining the Master’s neologisms and his natural gift as a tusitala, that is a story-maker and storyteller, and interrogating the much-publicized spiritual subtext of his logia.  This paper addresses the lacunae of what may be called Rāmakṛṣṇāyana, that, Ramakrishna-related literature.


Author Biography

Narasingha Prosad Sil, Western Oregon University

Department of History

Professor Emeritus


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How to Cite
Sil, N. (2021). The Nectar of the Master’s Speech. The South Asianist Journal, 8, 81-117. Retrieved from