THIS well researched book seeks to fill a gap in the historiography of religious movements and their leaders in modern India. Jordens uses all the known writ¬ings of Shraddhananda and a variety of other sources to paint a fresh and sym¬pathetic life of the Swami.
There is a basic unity about the first half of the book, in which the author describes Munshiram, as he was then, moving through a religious experience to live a life based on religious values. In the opening chapter Jordens portrays Munshiram’s constant efforts to eliminate the harmful aspects of his life and his equally consistent failure to do so. The second chapter, dealing with the period 1884-1893, is concerned with Munshi¬ram’s conversion and growth in the religious life. Subsequently, the author describes his entry to a public life of writing and speaking, and his preoccupa¬tion with the issues of Arya Samaj reform as a full-time leader in that orga¬nization.