Many world religions have their unknown gems. One of Hinduism's is Sri Ramakrishna (1836-86), a religious leader and inspiration for the Ramakrishna Order, who, although he was an observer of Hinduism, advocated the belief that all faiths lead equally to peace and harmony. Twenty-five years after his death, his disciple Saradananda wrote this biography, a massive five-volume opus, translated here from Bengali. Produced by Swami Chetanananda, a monk of the Order, this new translation (an earlier one, now out of print, came out around 1952), gives us the opportunity to read the life story of this remarkable holy man, considered by some to be God descended, and his followers. Be warned, however, that this is not for those mildly curious about Hinduism or Eastern spirituality. The book is 1000 pages long, heavily detailed, and full, as expected, of theological/moral aphorisms. More than an introductory knowledge of Indian religious history and Hinduism is necessary to digest this magnificent tome fully and profit from it. For those new to Sri Ramakrishna, both Christopher Isherwood's Ramakrishna and His Disciples and Andrew Harvey and others' Selections from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna: Annotated and Explained are affordable and recommended. This more in-depth volume is recommended for academic libraries supporting active departments in world and Eastern religions.-Glenn Masuchika, Rockwell Collins Information Ctr., Cedar Rapids, IA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.