This e-book is based on lectures the Swami delivered in his rented rooms at 228 W 39th Street in New York City between Dec. 1895 and January 1896. The classes were free of charge. Generally, the Swami held two classes daily—morning and evening. Although he delivered many lectures and held numerous classes in the two years and five months he had been in America, these lectures constituted a departure in the way they were recorded.
Just prior to the commencement of his Winter 1895–96 season in New York, his friends and supporters aided him by advertising for and ultimately hiring a professional stenographer: The man selected, Joseph Josiah Goodwin, later became a disciple of the Swami and followed him to England and India. Goodwin's transcriptions of the Swami's lectures form the basis of five books.