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Guide to the Benedicion Santa Ana de Branconière : Lecture notes taken by Josephine Robinson, 1906-1910
M1112  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains transcripts of the lectures Miss de Branconiere gave from 1906 through 1910. Josephine Robinson, then employed by the Bank of Alameda, attended her evening sessions, took notes in shorthand, and typed them later. The collection fills sixteen manuscript boxes and is organized chronologically. The collection includes two indexes: one that provides dates for lectures in which certain topics were discussed, and a second, which exclusively pertains to Biblical references. The lectures given by Miss de Branconiere cover a wide variety of religious and philosophical issues, while citing sources that range from classic Greek myths to Shakespeare to major religious texts. Miss de Branconiere quotes Swami Vivekananda extensively in her teachings, and students of the Swami should find great interest in the lectures of his disciple and protégée, Miss de Branconiere.
Background
Miss Benedicion Santa Ana de Branconiere was born the daughter of a British nobleman during the 18th century. Her father was a well-read and educated man, and at the time was the owner of one of the finest private libraries in the world. At a fairly young age, Miss de Branconiere was found to suffer from tuberculosis of the bone. After English medical science failed to cure her, Miss de Branconiere set out with her father to search the world for treatment. They finally found help in India, from spiritual healer and great religious figure Swami Vivekananda. To display her gratification for his assistance, Miss de Branconiere began to study under Swami Vivekananda in the hope of one day helping to spread his word to the western world. His doctrine was one of bringing together people of all religions to recognize that the God they worshiped was one. At the conference of World Religions held in Chicago in 1893, he said "People born in different religions finally reach the same God, as rivers born in different places finally reach the sea." To carry out her promise, Miss de Branconiere studied at the School of Illumination in Paris (Brotherhood of Light), where she later taught. After her tenure there, Swami Vivekananda sent her to spread the word, as he had briefly, in still-developing America. Miss de Branconiere acquiring a position at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching religion, philosophy, and literature. She also instructed evening classes to a private study group in Alameda. Through her teachings, Miss de Branconiere examined the sacred books of the world's four great religions, as well as the classic literary works of the time, seeking what common truths they held that could assist the plight of man. The central point of her teachings, as is any serious pursuit of the truth, was the discovery and salvation of the individual human soul.
Extent
8 linear ft.
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Availability
None.