Jalaram Bapa of Gujarat

Image of Jalaram BapaJalaram Bapa is a saint who lived in a small town of Virpur in Alandi region of Gujarat. Upon meeting his master from a previous life, he commenced namasmrana – repetition of the divine name – and engaged in ceaseless spiritual activity of feeding pilgrims and the poor. An ashram has been erected in his honour, and there are miracles associated with prayer and devotion Jalaram Bapa.

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Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind SinghGuru Gobind Singh, born Gobind Rai, was the tenth Sikh Guru, a spiritual master, warrior, poet and philosopher. When his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, was beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, Guru Gobind Singh was formally installed as the leader of the Sikhs at age nine, becoming the tenth Sikh Guru

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Sai Baba of Shirdi – The Early Years

Gurusthan in ShirdiBy 1910 the village of Shirdi had become slightly more prosperous, though Mrs Tarkhad, a Sai Baba devotee and regular visitor from Bombay, still found it “little more than a neglected hamlet without any lighting, sweeping or other conveniences of civilization… The streets and passages were all dark and unlit at night.” By then, Baba’s mosque had already taken on the character of a darbar (royal court), which it was to retain till the end of his mortal days.

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Galileo Galilei

Galileo GalileiGalileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa. Galileo has been called the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of the scientific method”, and the “father of modern science”.

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George Fox – Founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers)

George FoxGeorge Fox was an English Dissenter, who was a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. The son of a Leicestershire weaver, he lived in times of social upheaval and war.

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Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak giving blessingGuru Nanak is named founder of the Sikh religion. ‘Sikh’ means ‘disciple’ and Guru Nanak believed that one can evolve or achieve salvation only through direct contact with a true master or a ‘sadguru’. His religion has spread not only in North India but also in America, Singapore and Africa. Many Sikhs now live in other countries.

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Elijah Benamozegh

Italian Orthodox Rabbi Elijah BenamozeghElijah Benamozegh, sometimes Elia or Eliyahu, (born 1822; died 6 February 1900) was an Italian rabbi and a noted Kabbalist, highly respected in his day as one of Italy’s most eminent Jewish scholars. He served for half a century as rabbi of the important Jewish community of Livorno, where the Piazza Benamozegh now commemorates his name and distinction. His major work is Israel and Humanity (1863), which was translated into English by Dr. Mordechai Luria in 1995.

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Francis of Assisi

St FrancisFew saints in the history of the church have had such an immediate and such a lasting success as Francis of Assisi. His first two followers, Bernard of Quintavalle and Peter of Catani, joined him in 1208, yet by 1222, three, if not five, thousand men are said to have assembled together for a Convocation. And in our own time the stream of visitors to Assisi and the flood of books and articles devoted to Francis show that the appeal of il poverello has not diminished. Indeed, the current Pope took the name Francis – for he was told “don’t forget the poor” when he was elected

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Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook

Rabbi Abraham Isaac KookAbraham Isaac Kook was an Orthodox rabbi, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of British Mandatory Palestine in the Land of Israel, the founder of Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav, a Jewish thinker, Posek, Kabbalist, and a renowned Talmid Chacham. He is considered one of the fathers of religious Zionism.

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Bede Griffiths

Bede GriffithsBede Griffiths was a contemplative Benedictine Monk who was led to India by spiritual means to explore the depths of the incarnation within the heart of the human person. He first went to Kurisumala Monastery, Kerala and then to Shantivanam – a Christian Monastery and Ashram in Tamil Nadu. Seeking the meeting point of the divine incarnation of Christ the Son of God in Indian spiritual tradition, Bede Griffiths and the Shantivanam Ashram became a beacon for Christians seeking inner renewal, world-wide.

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Abhishiktananda

Dom Henri Le SauxOne of the best reasons for hope in the crisis through which at present the world is passing is certainly the growing interest shown by Western people in the East. Western man has in fact much to learn from the spiritual and cultural world of the East, which has evolved in ways very different from his own. Perhaps too it is only there that he will discover that inwardness which he so patently lacks and will recover that identity which seems to have escaped him – but this time an identity which will reveal to him the very depth of his own being. Abhishiktananada, Preface, Guru and Disciple.

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Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, OMI

Tissa Balasuriya OMIFather Tissa Balasuriya is a member of a religious order, like the Benedictines, and the Fransciscans. Numerically, the largest religious order of priests in the country are the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), and this is the congregation to which Father Tissa Balasuriya belongs. Founded in 1816 in France as a missionary and educational order, the Oblates came to Sri Lanka in 1847. Father Tissa was excommunicated from his church in 1997 and fought to have the excommunication lifted the following year.

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William and Catherine Booth: The Salvation Army

William and Catherine BoothWILLIAM BOOTH was the most successful evangelist of the nineteenth century. In an age when travelling preachers counted their conversions – and used their weekly totals to advertise for new work – Booth certainly topped the performance league. And, although he never descended to such commercial practices himself, he took great pride in his unparalleled talent for saving souls. But his importance was the world he took as his parish. The poor were his natural congregation and, at least in his early days, the only people who listened to his sermons were the men and women to whom the Church would not reach out.

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