NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS WITH THE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA MY _SISTER NIVEDITA OF

RAMKRISHNA-VIVEKANANDA.

Author
"

"

of

The

IVcb

of Indian

"

Life
;

;

The
"

Civic

and

National
of

Ideals"
"

Cradle- Tales
"T/ie

Hinduism
Him"

;

Master as I saw

&*c.

AUTHORISED EDITION,
1913.

EDITED BY THE SWAMI SARADANANDA
ITBLISHKI)
liV

UDBODHAN

THE BRAILMACI1ARI GONENDRA NATH OFFICE BAGHBA/AR, CALCUTTA
:

:

All rights reserved

Printed by K.

C.

64-1,

Ghose at the Lakshmi Printing WorJ 64-2, Sukea Street, Calcutta.

PREFACE.
book of the late Sister Nivedita to the public, the Editor has taken care to correct only a few minor inaccuracies as regards
In

presenting this

little

facts that crept into it, series of articles in the

when

it

appeared as a

Brahmavadin of Madras,

The Chapter headings and a short Synopsis of the contents of each chapter are also his and the
;

has been joined to the book, to venient for the reader to find out
letter

make

it

con
dealt
In

things

with

in

it,

whenever he

feels

so

disposed.

he hopes that the book, which offers bright glimpses of the yet undiscovered nooks of the private life of the great Swami Vivekananda, and the period of training through which the much
conclusion

lamented Sister Nivedita had to pass in the hands bf her Master, ere she came out before the

gaze as the wonderful champion of truth and justice and righteousness and of the cause of India will meet with the warm reception at the
public

hands of the public, that

it

fully deserves.

SARA DANANDA.

,

CONTENTS.
FOREWORD.
How the Ideal became at the year s end Real during the year 1898 at Belur, at Nainital and Almora, the
Foreword written
:

.and lastly at different places in
the world

Kashmir

:

The

privilege of seeing
listening to
all,

through the eyes of a great personality
all
:

The unique personality of and refusing none the Swami Vivekananda as it appeared to his western desciples and others at the time and the back ground which set it in strong
feeling with
relief
:

Effects of studying

him thus

at close quarters.
I

Pages

1-5

CHAPTER
A
running description of the

THE HOME ON THE GANGES.
Home
and
its

surroundings

:

Visits of the

of education

The Master (Vivekananda) and his methods and rousing a new religious consciousness in the
monks
:

minds of

his western pupils
first

never trying to soften things

Indian

repellant at

in the infinite

and conversation on any subject always ending On nation-building, and Siva and Uma : Adwaita
sight
: :

A visit to Sarada Devi InftiaGlimpses of God-Intoxication Miss M. E. Noble into the life of a Brahmachdrini The tion of
:
:

Master

s

going to Darjeeling and return after the
:

first
...

Plague de
*Pages 6-17

clarations at Calcutta

The

signs of the times.

CHAPTER
The two
Himalayas
Khetri
:
:

II

AT NAINI TAL AND ALMORA.
parties

leaving
:

Howrah and
introduction

the
to
:

first

sight of the

Nainital

Our

the

Maharaja of

The

incident

of the

Dancing

girls

A mahamedan

11

gentleman
Raja
the
to

s

feeling

about the Swami

:

The dominant
:

notes of

Ram Mohan Roy s How the Swami
: :

message

to India

Their acceptance by

the Master

The
:

dancing girls came to pay their respects incident of the nautch girl at Khetri The
:
:

The morning talks of the Swami The journey to Almora strange new element that crept in at this time in Miss Noble s
relation with the Master, of bitterness

and

irritation

and and defiance on the other

distrust
:

on one
it

side,

How

began and

The form adopted in these mornfng-talks it ended comparative review of East and West and assaults on deep-rooted

how

:

pre-conceptions.

...

...

...

Pages

18-28-

CHAPTER
The
first

III

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA.
morning talk on The central ideals of civilisations in the East, Truth The four Chastity kinds of national functions performed by different nations Talks The Master s epigram des on Indian history ? On the Moghuls
in

the

West,

,

:

:

:

cribing the Taj Opinion about Shah Jehan and On Italy, Sivaji and Oriental untruthfulness
:
:

Akbar On China and the Aryans
:

:

Author

s

remarks

on the
:

fascination

of

Indian

scholars

for

The Master s treatment of old Indian questions of Ethnology History as a struggle between the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas On Buddha, and the On the Kyasthas of Bengal and Buddhism
:
:

vision

of the

Swami regarding him
:

:

On Amba
:

Pali, the courte

san

:

On
;

Bhakti

On

the Babists of Persia

On
:

the high poten

tiality

of love that seeks no personal expression

On God

as the
:

Universe

Siva and

Uma
s life
:

:

Stories from the Puranas
:

Suka Deva

On

Pundit

Vidyisagar and David Hare

Influence of Christi

anity on the

Swami
Nivedita

the American Engineer the
Sister
:

Funny stories on spirit-seance and The Swami s longing for quiet Blessing
:
:

End

of the sprained relationship

:

Death

.

111

of Mr.

J. J.

Goodwin

:

The Swami

s

return
:

after a

week

s

retire

ment

:

On

the death of Pavahari

Baba

ing a Personal Will guiding the universe
nal Magistrate, having no rest
:

:

On the folly of imagin On God as the Eter

On
:

Bhakti without renunciation

as pernicious

:

On

proverty and Self-mastery for the soul that

would wed the Eternal Bride-groom Renunciation is not akin to the morbid idea of worshipping pain The Hindu Ideal of On the peculiar character transcending both pleasure and pain
:

:

istic

of the

sistent idea

Hindu Culture in having devotion even if it has no objective actuality
:

to a spiritually
:

con

On

Krishna, the

most perfect of Avatars The deep impression of the Krishnaon India Memorial to Mr. J, J. Goodwin Requiescat in myth The last after-noon at Almora and the story of the fatal pace
:
:

illness

of Sri Ramakrishna.

...

...

Pages 29-63

CHAPTER
ON THE WAY
:

IV

TO KATHGODAM.

Hill-side haunted by centaurs Sunday after-noon talk The, Rudra prayer of the Vedas, the Benidiction after mourning Suradas Song Always face the brute The Terai and change of
:

:

vegetation.

...

...

...

...

Pages 64-69

CHAPTER V
ON THE WAY
province
:

TO BARAMULLA.

The Punjab love of the Swami for and reminiscences of the The vision of the old Brahmin chanting the Vedas and its deep impression on the Swami Vivekananda, a breaker of Talk at Dulai A new chapter of Hinduism Vamabondage
: : :

chara

Love, the only cure for evil

:

Fragments of

talks

on the

naughtiness in childhood and remedy for the His love for Siva On marriage as the type of the soul s relation to God Meeting a*party of Sannyasi pilgrims Q n the

way same

:

The Swami
:

s

:

:

:

IV

good and

evil

effects

of religion

:

The Dak Bangalow
... ...

at Uri

:

The legend

of the vale of Kashmir.

Pages 70-83

CHAPTER
THE VALE
On
Meeting an old Mohamedan lady
the evolution of different ideals
:

VI
Meeting Bengali
different
...

OF KASHMIR.
officials
:

by

nations to which

each must hold

itself true in its future existence.

Pages 84-90

CHAPTER
past

VII

LIFE AT SRINAGAR.
The Swami, on what Buddhism attempted
Federalisation of religions
: 3 :

to bring

out

in
:

the

Talk on Chenghiz Khan

Com

position of the Ode to The Awakened India Visiting the temples of Kshir Bhawani and Takt-i-Suliman The beautiful view from
:

the latter place
:

:

Fragments

of talks

on Tulsidas Sayings and the

Upanishads On Why Ravana could not tempt Sita by taking the form of Rama On Thomas a Kempis Kalidas s Kumar-Sambhabam and the privilege given to women and Sudras to read the The celebration of the 4th of July, the American Day Scriptures
:

:

:

of Independence in the house-boat

:

The Swami

s

Ode

to the 4th

of July
sin
:

:

The great

difference between a house-holder
:

and a Sannya-

Visit to Dahl Lake, Shalimar Bag, etc. The Swami s attempt to visit Amarnath by the Sonamarg route and failure on account of the break of glaciers His realisations on return.
:

Pages 91-109

CHAPTER
THE TEMPLE
Sailing

VIII

OF PANDRENTHAN.
Swami
:

down

the Jhellum with the

of

Ram

Prasad, on the Divine Mother
:

Fragments of songs on Bhakti RadhaTalk
:

Krishna

On

the

way

to

Islamabad

1

the old old

Temple

of Pan-

drenthan
critical
in

a relic of

Buddhism
its

:

Its

architectural importance
exterior
:

a

examination of

interior

and

The
:

four periods

the building of
ficent

which the Swami divided the History of Kashmir, placing The magni Pandrentham on the second period
view from the Temple
:

Pandrentham

Notes from the evening talk at The Christian rituals derived from the Buddhistic
: :

and the latter from the Vedic Christianity has no common prayer like Hinduism Mohamedanism, the only religion that broke
:

down

the idea of Priesthood

:

The Swami

s
:

doubts about the exist

ence of Christ and his dream off Crete
Christianity

The probable
:

origin of

by the meeting of Indian and Egyptian ideas with S. Paul Jndaism and Hellenism at Alexandria in old times Buddha and Mahomed, the only historical capable of Jesuitry
:

figures

in

old religious
:

records

:

A
...

critical

examination of

Christianity
lived.

Buddha
...

surely
...

was the greatest man who ever
...

Pages 110-125

CHAPTER
WALKS AND TALKS
The view up
of the Himalayas, Siva
:

IX

BESIDE THE JHELLUM.
s

the Jhellum calling up memories of Kalidas

picture

and

Uma

:

Across the

fields

on the banks
,

with the Swami His talk on The Sense of Sin Egyptian, Semitic and Aryan The Vedic God of anger becoming Mara, the Lord of Lust in Buddhism The difference between th e Vedic
: :

Anger-God and Satan of Christianity Zoroaster, a reformer of some old Vedic religion Ormuzd and Ahriman are but manifes tations of the Supreme Righteousness and Sin becoming later the Vidyd and AvidyA of the Upanishads The talk on guiding the future of India and the Indian people On National life as a ques
:

:

:

:

:

tion of organic forces
it

;

to

do the

rest

:

On

re-inforce.the current of that life, then leave the Ideas of renunciation and mukti as the
fife
:

sources of Indian National

The temple

of Bij-Behara and the

vi
Islamabad
the

:

The Swami

s

story of his encountering a bull in England reminiscences of his life as a wandering friar: The

coolness in the face of danger and death Fragments of
:

Ruins of the
:

temple of Marttand
\vith the Sister

:

Its

architectural

significance

The
to

talk
at

Nivedita about

Women s
same
:

Educational

Work

Calcutta

:

A

tentative plan for the

His advice
:

on her own inspiration mainly
great responsibility of the
invitation to Sister
to the Shrine of

for the
:

work

depend His view of the

same

Nivedita to

Achhabal and the Swami s accompany him on a pilgrimage
...
...

Amarnath.

Pages 126-142

CHAPTER X
THE SHRINE
The Swami
s

OF AMARNATH.
:

meeting the pilgrim Sddhus at Bawan

The

The opposition to admitting Sister Nivedita among the pilgrims removal of the Pilgrim Camp to Chandanawara 18,000 feet above
:

sea-level

:

the

Swami
:

Arrival at the Pantajharni, the place of five streams and s fulfilling the The study of a glacier at close Laws
:

quarters

Arrival at the cave of
:

Amarnath
Evening
...

:

The Swami
Pahlgam
...
:

s

realisa

tions in the cave

The

return

:

at

Back

to

Islamabad and Srinagar.

Pages 143-153

CHAPTER
The Swhmi
:

XI
JOURNEY.

AT SRINAGAR ON THE RETURN
s

common longing His talk with Nivedita about his conception of India, people making Hinduism an agressive missionary faith, deep spirituality among many orthodox Hmdus, the association of Spirituality with
for

freedom and the touch of the

orthodoxy being accidental and not essential, Sri Ramakrishna as
the

embodiment of the highest inner
on the outer plane
:

life in

the Soul with perfect

worship of Sri Rama krishna leaving others free to decide for themselves which personactivity

The Swami

s

Vll they would worship

alities

:

The Swami

s

repudiation of palmistry,

character-reading, preaching of religion by displaying miracles : Per His worshipping the little Mohammedan boat-child as

Uma

:

sonal wish for special quiet of one of the ladies of the party

and the
for

encampment on the land by the river-side, which of Kashmir was anxious for a time to offer to
making a centre of
his organisation.
...

the

Maharajah

the

Swami

Pages 154-159

CHAPTER
The Swami

XII

THE CAMP UNDER THE CHENNAARS.
s meeting an European guest at the temporary His talk about Meera Bai, under the Chennaars encampment the queen who would not be queen for love of God About a song
:
:

of

Tana Sena About Rana Pratap Sing Krishna Kumari Leaving for Ganderbal.
:
:

of Cheetore
...

:

About

Pages 160-166

CONCLUDING WORDS OF THE EDITOR.

BLESSINGS TQ NIVEDITH,

/

t~~S2*

,

, !**

&<*e~

^ A~^-~

^

a^/^*t

f f^S
<.

,, ^-^

^1**
r

//*"

J

.r^^xu->

77^
,

^v^

.

/

5-z^.

FOREWORD
Persons
:

The Swami
disciples.

Vivekananda

;

Gurubhais

;

and

A

party of European guests and disciples, amongst

whom
Place
:

whose name was Jaya
Time

were Dhira Mata, the Steady Mother ; and Nivedita.

;

One

Different parts of India.

/The

year 1898.

Beautiful
year.

have been the days of this In them the Ideal has become the
First in our river-side cottage at then in the Himalayas, at Naini;

Real.

Belur

;

Tal and Almora
here

afterwards wandering
;

through Kashmir have come hours never to everywhere be forgotten, words that will echo through

and

there

our lives for

ever,

and once

at least,

a

glimpse of the Beatific Vision.
It

has been

all

play.

have seen a love that would be one with the humblest and most igno-

We

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
rant, seeing

the world for the

moment

through his eyes, as if criticism were not we have laughed over the colossal
;

we caprice of genius ourselves at heroic fires
;

have warmed
;

and we have

been present, as

it

were, at the

awaken

ing of the Holy child. But there has been nothing grim or serious about any of these things. Pain

has come close to

all

of us.

Solemn

anniversaries have been and gone. But sorrow was lifted into a golden light,

where

it

was made
if

radiant,

and did not
describe
I

destroy.

Fain,

I

could,

would
as
I

I

our journeys.
the
irises in

Even
bloom
at

write
;

see

Baramulla

the

young rice beneath the poplars at Is lamabad starlight scenes in Himalayan and the royal beauties of Delhi forests
;
;

and the Taj. One longs some memorial of these.

to
It

attempt
in

would be
words,

worse than useless. Not, then,
but in the light of memory,

they are

FOREWORD
enshrined for ever, together with the kindly and gentle folk who dwell among
them, and
left

whom we

trust

always to have

the gladder for our coming.

have learnt something of the mood in which new faiths are born, and of the Persons who inspire such faiths.
For we have been with one who drew
all

We

men
all,

to him,

listening to

all,

feeling

with

and refusing none.
that

We

have

known a humility
littleness,

wiped out all a renunciation that would die

scorn of oppression and pity of the oppressed, a love that would bless even
for

the

oncoming

feet

of torture

and of

have joined hands with that woman who washed the feet of the Lord with her tears, and wiped them with the
death.
hairs of her head.

We

We

the occasion, but her passionate sciousness of self.

have lacked, not uncon
in the

of

garden dead emperors there came to us a vision of all the rich and splendid things
%

Seated under a tree

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
of Earth, offering themselves as a shrine for the great of soul. The storied win

dows of

cathedrals,

and the jewelled

thrones of kings, the banners of great captains and the vestments of the priests,
the pageants of of the proud,
rejected.
cities,
all

and the retreats came, and all were

In the garments of the beggar, des pised by the alien, worshipped by the

and only people, we have seen him the bread of toil, the shelter of cottageroofs, and the common road across the
;

cornfields

seem
the

real
life

enough

for the

back

ground
his

to this

Amongst
loved

own,

much

him as ignorant as scholars and statesmen. The
river, in his

boatmen watched the
sence, for his return,

ab
dis

and servants

puted

And

with Quests to do him service. through it all, the veil of playful

ness was never dropped. "They played with the Lord," and instinctively they
c

knew

it.

,

4

FOREWORD
To
hours,

those
life is

who have known

such

and sweeter, and in the long nights even the wind in the palm-trees seems to cry
richer
"Mahadeva
!

Mahuldeva

!

Mahadeva

!"

5

CHAPTER
Place
:

I

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES.
A
cottage at Belur, besides the Ganges.
to

Time:

March

May

nth.

Of
that

the

home by
to

the

Ganges,
will

the
find
like

Master had said
little

one

"You

house of Dhira Ma,t&
it is

heaven, for
to
end."

all

love,

from beginning
Within,

It

was

so

indeed.

an

unbroken harmony, and without, every
the green stretch thing alike beautiful, of grass, the tall cocoanut palms, the
little

brown

villages in the jungle,

and

the nilkantha that built her nest in a tree-

top beside us, on purpose to bring us In the morning the blessings of Siva. but the shadows lay behind the house
:

in the

afternoons

we could
!

sit in

front,

worshipping the Ganges herself, great and in sight oi mother leonine

Dakshineswar.

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
There came one and another with and we learnt traditions of the past
;

wanderings of the name changed from village to
eight year
;

of the

Master

s

s

of the Nirvikalpa Sam&dhi and of that sacred sorrow, too deep for
village
;

;

words, or for who loved had
too,

common

sight, that

one

alone seen.

And

there,

came the Master Himself, with his stories of Um& and Siva, of Radha and Krishna, and his fragments of song and
poetry.
It
first

seemed
material

as

if

he knew that the

of a

new consciousness
vivid, but iso

must be a succession of
lated

experiences, poured out without proper sequence, so as to provoke the mind of the learner to work for its own

conception of order and

relation.
it

At
not,

any
this

rate,

whether he knew

or

that

was the canon of educational science For the he unconsciously fulfilled.
part,
it

most
that

was the

Indian religions

he portrayed

for us, to-day dealing

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
with one, and to-morrow with another, choice guided, seemingly, by the

his

whim
us.

of the

moment.

But

it

was not
out upon
history.

religion

only

that he poured

Sometimes it would be Again, it would be folk-lore.

On

still

another occasion, it would be the mani fold anomalies and inconsistencies of
race, caste,

and custom.

In fact

India

herself became, as heard in
last

him, as the
utter

and noblest of the Pfirdnas,
through his lips. Another point in which
itself

ing

he had

caught a great psychological secret was that of never trying to soften for us that

which would
repellent.

at first sight be difficult or

In matters Indian he

would

rather put forward, in its extreme form, at the beginning of our experience, all that it might seem impossible for

European minds would quote, for
about Gouri and

to

enjoy.

instance,

Thus he some verse
in a

Sankar

single

form
8

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
"On

one side grows the hair
black curls,

in

long

And on On one

side

the other, corded like rope. are seen the beautiful

On
One
The

garlands, the other,

bone earrings and
coils.

snake-like
side
is

white with ashes, like

the

snow mountains,
golden as the light of

other,

dawn.

For He, the Lord, took a form, And that was a divided form,
Half- woman and
half-man."

And
siasm
it

things,

carried by his burning enthu was possible to enter into these and dimly, even then, to appre

hend
the

their

meaning.
subject of
.

Whatever might be the
conversation,
it

ended always on Indeed I do not know that our Master s realisation of the Adwaita Philosophy has been
the note of the Infinite.
in

anything more convincing than in

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
this

world.

matter of his interpretation of the He might appear to take up
subject,
literary,

any
it

scientific,

but

ethnological, or he always made us feel

as

an

illustration

of the

Ultimate

Vision.
secular.

There was, for him, nothing He had a loathing for bond
"cover

age,

and a horror of those who
flowers,"

chains with
to

but he never failed
s

make

the true critic

distinction be

and the highest forms of art. One day we were receiving European guests, and he entered into a long talk
tween
this

ab6ut Persian poetry. Then suddenly, himself quoting the poem that finding
says,
"For

one mole on the face of

my

would give all the wealth of Beloved, Samarcand he turned and said ener
I
!"

would not give a straw, you know, for the man who was incap able of appreciating a love song!" His
getically
"I

ta[k,

too teemed with epigrams. It was that same afternoon, in the course of

a long political argument, that he said 10

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
"In

order to become a nation,

it

appears

that

we need a common hate
love."

as well as

a

common

Several

months

later

he remarked

that before one who had a mission he

never talked of any of the gods save Uma and Siva. For Siva and the

Mother made the great workers. Yet have sometimes wondered if he knew at this time how the end of every theme
I

was

bhakti.

Much

as he

dreaded the
for
it,

luxury
not

of spiritual

emotion

those

who might be enervated by
help giving glimpses
to

he could
it

of what

the consumed with And so he would intoxication of God.

meant

be

chant
"

for us

such peoms as
in

They have made Rjidha queen,

the beautiful groves of Brindaban.

At her gate stands Krishna,on guard.
His
flute is
is

Radha

singing all the time,: about to distribute infinite

wealth of love.
1 1

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Though I am guard, all may enter. Come all ye who thirst Glory unto Radha
the

world

!

Say only

!

Enter the region of love Or he would give us the great antiphonal Chorus of the Cowherds, written
!"

by

his friend :*

Men.

Thou art the Soul of Thou yellow garbed, With thy blue eyes.
dark

souls,

Women. Thou

One

!

Thou
!

Shepherd of Brind^ban Kneeling at the feet of the
Sheperdesses.

Men.

My

soul sing the praise

of

the glory of the Lord,

Who
Women. Thy
Men.

took the

human
for

form.
the

beauty

us,

Gopis.

Thou Lord

of

Sacrifice.

Saviour of the weak.
*

The

late

Bengali dramatist, Babu Girish Chandra Ghose.

12

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
Women.

Who lovest R&dh, and thy
body
tears.
floats

on

its

own

One
forget.

such day (May.g)

we can never

We had been sitting talking under
when suddenly a storm came moved to the terrace, overhang

the trees,
on.

We

ing the river, and then to the verandah. Not a moment too soon. Within ten
minutes,
the

opposite

bank of the

Ganges was hidden from our view, and
in

the blackness before us
falling
in

we

could hear

the rain

torrents,

and

the

thunder crashing, while every

now and

then there was a lurid flash of lightning. And yet, amidst all the turmoil of
the

elements,

we

sat

on,

in

our

little

verandah, absorbed in a drama far more intense. One form passed back and
forth across our

tiny

stage

;

one voice

compassed all the players; and the play that was acted before us was the love of
the soul for

God!

Till we,

too

caught the kindling, and loved for the

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
moment
could
disturb.

with a

fire

not

put Shall
the

that the rushing river out nor the hurricane

many, waters quench

Love,

or

floods

overwhelm
left us,

it

?"

And

before Prometheus

we

knelt
all.

before him together
17.

and he
in

blest us

One day, early the cottage-life, Swami took the Dhinl M4t^, and her whose name was Jay4, to be re
the

ceived for the

who

time by S^rada Devi, had come from her village home, to
first

Calcutta,

at

his

call.

Thence
for a

brought back with them
a guest to

they few hours,
of that

whom

the
life s

memory

day makes one of

forget the Ganges, nor the long talk with the Master, nor the service Jaya had done
that
(

Never can she

great festivals. the fragrance of

morning

by

winning

the

most
with

orthodox of Hindu
her foreign
the

woman
;

to eat

disciples

nor any one of
that
that

many happy

ties

day

broyght into existence and consecrated.
March, 26.

A

week

later

the

same guest was

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
there again, coming late on

Wednesday,

and going away on

At
of

this time, the

Swami kept
cottage

Saturday evening. the custom
early,

coming

to

the

and
and

spending the morning-hours there,

again returning in the late afternoon. On the second morning of this visit,

however,
of the

Friday,

the Christian

feast

Annunciation,

he took

us

all

three back to the Math, and there, in the

worship-room, was held a
of initiation,

little

service

where one was made a

Brahmacharini.
of

That was the happiest
After
the
service,

mornings.
the

we
*put

were taken
on

upstairs.

The Swami

bone-earrings and matted locks of a Siva-yogi, and sang
to

ashes and

and played

us

Indian
for

music

on

Indian instruments,

an hour.

evening, in our boat on the Ganges, he opened his heart to us, and told us much of his questions and
in the

And

anxieties

regarding the trust that ,he held from his own Master.

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Another week, and he was gone to Darjeeling, and till the day that the plague declaration brought him back we
May,
3.

saw him again no more. Then two of us met him
of our

in the

house

Holy Mother. The political sky was black. It seemed as if a storm were
about to burst.

The moon

of those

evenings had the brown haze about it that is said to betoken civil disturbance

and already plague, panic, were doing their fell work.
Master turned
"There

and

riot

And
and

the
said,

to

the

two

are

existence of

some who scoff at the Kali. Yet to-day She is out

there amongst the people. They are frantic with fear, and the soldiery have

been called to deal out death.
can
say
that

Who
?

God

does not manifest

Himself as Evil as well as Good
only the Hindu dares to worship in the evil."
(

But

Him

had come back, and the old life was resumed once more, as far as could

He

THE HOUSE ON THE GANGES
be,

seeing that an epidemic was in pros

pect,

and that measures were on hand

As long give the people confidence. as this possibility darkened the horizon,
to

he would

not

leave

Calcutta.

But

it

passed away, and those happy days with it, and the time came that we
should go.

CHAPTER

II

AT NAINI TAL AND ALMORA
fersons:

The Swami Vivekananda
disciples.

;

Guru-bhais*,

anc

A

party of Europeans, amongst
the
;

whom

were Dhira

MM,
Place
:

Steady Mother

;

One whose name

was Jaya

and Nivedita.

The Himalayas.
II to

Time

/May

May

25, 1898.

We
two

were a large party,
evening,
in

or,

indeed,

parties, that left

Howrah

station

on

Wednesday
layas.

and on
of the
rise

Friday

morning came

sight
to

Hima

They seemed

suddenly

out of the plains, a few hundred yards

away. Naini Tal
three things,

was made
the Master
s

beautiful

by

pleasure in introducing to us his disciple, the Raja the dancing girls who met us of Khetri
;

and asked us where
*
Spiritual

to

find him,
of one

and
th<

brethren

;

disciples

and

same Master

are so called.

18

NAINI TAL AND ALMORA
were received by him, inspire of the remonstrances of others and by the
;

Mohammedan
"Swamiji,

gentleman
in

who

said

if

after-times

any claim
that

you as an avatar, an especial incarna
tion of

the Deity

remember
the
first
!"

I,

a

Mohammedan, am
It

was

here,

too, that

we heard a
Roy,
in

long talk

on

Ram Mohun

which

he

pointed out three things as the dominant notes of this teacher s mes

sage, his acceptance of the Vedanta, his

preaching of patriotism, and
that

the

love

embraced the Mussulman equally
In
all

with the Hindu.

these

things,

he claimed himself to have
the task that the breadth and
of

taken up
foresight
out.
girls

Ram Mohun Roy
The

had mapped

incident of the

dancing

occurred in consequence of our the two temples at the head
tarn,

visit

to

of the

which from time immemorial have

been places of pilgrimage,
beautiful
little
"Eye

making the
holy.

Lake"

Here,

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
offering

worship,

we found two
in

nautch-

women. came up
age,

When
to us,

they had finished, they

and we
into

broken langu
with

entered

conversation

them.
ladies

We
of

took them for respectable the town, and were much

astonished, later,

at the storm which had evidently passed over the Swami s audience at his refusal to have them

turned away.
ing that
it

Am
in

I

mistaken

in think

was
us

connection with these
that

dancing-women of Naini Tal
first

he

told

the

story,

many

times

repeated, of the nautch-girl of Khetri ? He had been angry at the invitation to

see her,

but

being prevailed upon to

come, she sang
"O

Lord, look not upon

my

evil qualities

!

Thy name, O Lord, isSame-Sightedness, Make us both the same Brahman
!

One

piece of iron

is

the knife in the

hand of the butcher
20

NAINI TAL AND ALMORA

And

another piece of iron

the image in the temple.
is

But when they touch the philosopher
Both alike turn
to gold
is in

s

stone,
!

Onedrop of water

And one

is

the sacred Jumna, foul in a ditch by the roadside.

But when they fall into -the Ganges, Both alike become holy
!

So, Lord, look not upon

my evil qualities
!"

!

Thy name, O Lord, is Same-Sightedness. Make us both the same Brahman

And
that

then, said the
fell

Master of himself, the
his

scales
all

from

eyes,

and seeing

are indeed one,

he condemned

no more. [And she whose name is Java, heard from another of this same visit,

when

to the

assembled

women he spoke
all

words of power that moved full of love and tenderness,

hearts,

without se

paration and without reproach.] It was late in the afternoon when we
21

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
left

Naini Tal for Almora,
still

and night

travelling through on we went, follow ing the road into deep gullies, and out again, round the shoulders of projecting

overtook us while

the forest.

On and

hill sides,

always under the shadow of

great trees, and always preceded by tor ches and lanterns to keep off bears and
tigers.

While day

lasted

we had seen

the
fern

"rose-forests"

and the maiden-hair

by the spring sides, and the scarlet blossoms on the wild pomegranate bushes but with nightfall, only the fra
;

grance of these and the honeysuckles was left to us, and we journeyed on, con
nothing, save silence and starlight, and the grandeur of the moun till we reached a quaintly tains placed
tent to

know

dak-bungalow, on the mountain side, in There after some the midst of trees.
time,
fiJl

Swamiji arrived with his party, of fun, and keen in his appreciation
but
full

of everything that concerned the comfort
of his guests, before
all,

of the

22

NAINI TAL AND ALMORA
poetry of the weird out, the coolies by
"night

scenes"

with

their fires,

and the
Shelter

neighing horses, the Poor
near,

Man s

and the
the

whispering

trees

and

solemn blackness of the

forest.

day that we arrived at Almora the Swami renewed his habit of

From

coming over to us at our early breakfast, and spending some hours in talk. Then
and always, he was an exceedingly light sleeper, and I imagine that his visit to
the hour might be, was often paid during the course of his return with his monks from a still earlier walk.
us, early as

Sometimes, but
in the

rarely,

evening, either out for a walk, or going ourselves
Capt. Sevier
s

we saw him again meeting him when
to
his party

where he and

were staying, and seeing him there. And once he came at that time to call

on

us.

Into these

morning

talks at

Almora,

a strange
tary to

new element,

painful but salu
crept.

remember, had

There

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
appeared
bitterness
irritation

to be,

on one

side,

a curious

and

distrust, and,

on the other,

and defiance.

The youngest
it

of the

Swami s

disciples at this time,

must be remembered, was an English woman, and of how much this fact meant
intellectually,

what a

implied,

and always

strong bias it does imply, in the

reading of India, what an idealism of the English race and all their deeds and
history,

the
till

Swami

himself had had no

conception

the day after her initiation

at the monastery.

Then he had asked her

some exultant question, as to which nation she now belonged to, and had been startl
ed
to find with

what a passion of loyalty

and worship she regarded the Englishgiving to it much of the feeling that an Indian woman would give to her Thakoor. His surprise and disappoint
flag,

ment

at the

moment were
startled look,

scarcely per

ceptible.

A

no more. Nor

did his discovery of the superficial way
in which this disciple had joined herself

NA1NI TAL AND ALMORA
with his people in any degree affect his confidence and courtesy during the re maining weeks spent in the plains. But
with Almora,
school,
it

seemed as

if

had commenced,

a going-toand just as

schooling is often disagreeable to the taught, so here, though it cost infinite
pain, the blindness of a

half-view must

be done away.
to

change its never more than

mind must be brought centre of gravity. It was
this;
;

A

of opinion or

creed

never the dictating never more than

Even at emancipation from partiality. the end of the terrible experience, when
this
try,

method, as regarded race and coun was renounced, never to be taken
the

up systematically again,
not
call for

Swami
faith,

did

any confession of

any

opinion. the whole question. His listener went
free.

declaration of

new

He dropped

But he had revealed a
in

different

standpoint
pletely

thoughtand

feeling, so

and so strongly as

to

com make it
by

impossible for her to

rest, until later,

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
her

own
in

labours, she

had arrived

at

a

view

which both these

partial present

ments stood rationalised and accounted
for
sin!"

"Really,

patriotism like

yours

is

he exclaimed once,

many weeks

the process of obtaining an uncoloured judgment on some incident had been more than commonly exasper
later,

when

ating.

"All

that

I

want you

to

see

is

that most people s actions are the expres sion of self-interest, and you constantly

oppose to
are
is

this the idea that a certain race

all

angels.

Wickedness
this

!"

Ignorance so determined Another question on
disciple

which

same

showed a most

was that of the current western estimate of woman. Both these
bitter obstinacy

limitations of her

sympathy look petty
to her

and vulgar enough
attitude of the
R>ut

now, as com
truth.
lion,

pared with the open and disinterested

mind

that

welcomes

at the time they

were a veritable

in the path,

and remained so until she had
folly

grasped the

of allowing anything

26

NAINI TAL AND ALMORA
whatever
ity that

to obscure to her the personal

was here revealing itself. Once having seen this, it was easy to be passive to those things that could not be
accepted, or could not be understood, and to leave to time the formation of ultimate
In every judgments regarding them. case it had been some ideal of the past
that

had raised a barrier

to

the

move

ment of her sympathy, and surely it is It is the worships of one era always so.
which forge the
fetters of the next.

These morning

talks at

Almora

then,

took the form of assaults upon deep-rboted

and social, preconceptions, literary, artistic, or of long comparisons of Indian and European history and sentiments, often containing extended observations
of very great value. One characteristic of the Swami was the habit of attacking
t

the abuses of a country or society openly

and vigorously when he was in its midst, whereas after he had left it, it would often seem as if nothing but its virtues were
27

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
remembered by him.
testing his disciples,

was always and the manner of

He

these particular discourses was probably adopted in order to put to the proof the

courage and sincerity of one both woman and European.

who was

28

CHAPTER
Place

III

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
Almora.

Time

May and June

1898.

The
West,

first

morning, the talk was that of
in the

the central ideals of civilization,
truth, in the East,

chastity.

He
as

justified

Hindu

marriage-customs,

springing from the pursuit of this ideal, and from the woman s need of protection,
in

combination.

And

he traced out the
to the

relation of the

whole subject

Phi

losophy of the Absolute.

Another morning he began by obser ving that as there were four main
castes,

Sudra,

Brahman, Kshattriya, Bunea, so there were four great national
priestly,
ful

functions, the religious or
filled

by the Hindus, the military, by the Roman Empire the mercantile by
; ;

and the democratic, by England today America in the future. And here he

29

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
launched off into a glowing prophetic
forecast of

how America would

Sudra, lems of freedom and co-operation, and turned to relate to a non-American list

the problems of the

yet solve the prob

arrangements which that people had attempted to make
for their aborigines.

ener, the generosity of the

Again

it

would be an eager rdsumJ

of the history of India or of the

Moguls
him.

whose

greatness never

wearied

Every now and then, throughout the summer, he would break out into des Once criptions of Delhi and Agra. he described the Taj as dimness, and again a dimness, and there a grave
"a
!"

he spoke of Shah Jehan, and then, with a burst of enthusiasm,

Another

time,

"Ah

!

He

,

feeling for, that are unparalled in history.
artist himself
!

was the glory of his line A and discrimination of beauty
!

And

an

have seen a manuscript illuminated by him, which is one of the
I

art-treasures of India.

What

a genius

!"

MORNING TALKS A T ALMORA
Oftener
still,
it

was Akbar of

whom

he

would

tell,

almost with tears
easier

in his voice,

and a passion
side that

to understand,
to

be

undomed tomb, open

sun and

wind, the grave of Secundra at Agra. But all the more universal forms of

human

were open to the Master. In one mood he talked of China as if
feeling
told us of the thrill

she were the treasure-house of the world,

and

with

which he
?)

saw

inscriptions in old Bengali (Kutil

characters, over the doors of Chinese

temples.

more eloquent of the vagueness of Western
things

Few

could

be

ideas regarding Oriental peoples than the fact that one of his listeners alleged

untruthfulness as a notorious
that race.

quality of
fact

As a matter
in the

of

the

Chinese are famous

United States,

where they are known as business-men, for their remarkable commercial inte
grity,

beyond Western requirement of the written word. So the objection was an
that of the

developed to a point

far

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
misrepresentation, which, though disgraceful, is nevertheless too common. But in any case the Swami
instance
of

would have none of
Social rigidity
very,
!

it.

Untruthfulness

!

What were

these, except
?

very relative terms

And

as to

untruthfulness in particular, could com mercial life, or social life, or any other

form of co-operation go on

for a day,

if

men
was

did not trust

men

?

Untruthfulness

as a necessity
that
Is

of etiquette ? different from the

And how
Western

the Englishman always glad idea ? and always sorry at the proper place ?

But there

is still

Perhaps Or he might wander as
Italy, that

a difference of degree but only of degree
!

?

far afield as

greatest of the

countries of
;

Europe, land of religion and of art
of

alike

imperial
;

Mazzini
r

and of organization mother of ideas, of culture,
!"

and of freedom

One day

it

was

Sivaji
s

and the

Mahrattas and the year
32

wandering as a

MOKN/Ni; TALKS
Saunydsi, that
garh.
"And

AT ALMORA
to

won him home
to
this
in
day,"

Raithe

said

S \vami,

"authority

India

dreads the

Sannytisi,

lest

he conceal

beneath his

yellow garb another Often the enquiry,
tin*

Siv&ji."

Who and

what are
;

Aryans

?

absorbed his attention

and, holding- that their origin was com plex, he would tell us how in Switzerland

he had
like

felt

himself to be

in

China, so

He believed too were the types. that the same was true of some parts of
were scraps of information about countries and physiog

Norway.

Then

there

nomies, an impassioned tale of the Hun garian scholar, who traced the Huns to
Tibet, and lies buried in Darjeeling so on.
It

and

this

was very interesting throughout summer, to watch, not only in the
of
all

Swami s case, but in that who might be regarded as
of the old Indian
culture,

persons

representative

how

strong-

was the fascination exerted by enquiries
33

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
of
this nature.
It

seemed

as

if

in

the

intellectual life of the East, questions of

race and custom and ethnological origins and potentialities took the place that

the observation of international politics might hold in the West. The idea

suggested itself that Oriental scholars and statesmen could never ignore this element in their peculiar problems, and

would be

likely

at

the

same time

to

bring a very valuable power of discri mination to bear upon it.

Sometimes the Swami would deal with the rift between Brahmins and
Kshattriyas, painting the whole history of India as a struggle between the two, and showing that the latter had always

embodied the

rising,

fetter-destroying

He could give impulses of the nation. excellent reason too for the faith that
was
in

him

that the Kayasthas of

modern

Bengal represented
Kshattriyas.

He

pre-Mauryar would portray th(
culture,

the

two opposing types of
34

the

on<

WORKING TALKS AT ALMORA
and saturated with an ever-deepening sense of tradition and the other, defiant, impulsive, custom
classical, intensive,
;

and

liberal in its out-look. It was part of a deep-lying law of the historic deve Rama, Krishna, and lopment that

Buddha had

all

arisen in the kingly,

and
this

not in the priestly caste.

And

in

paradoxical moment, Buddhism was re duced to a caste-smashing formula

"a

religion invented by the Kshattriyas" as a crushing rejoinder to Brahminism
!

That was a great hour indeed, when
catching a word that seemed to identify him with its anti-Brahminical spirit, an uncompre
;

he spoke of Buddha

for,

hending
did not

listener

know

"Madam,"

"Why Swami, I were a Buddhist you he said rounding on her, his

said,

that

!"

whole face aglow with the inspiration of am the servant of the that name,
"I

,

servants

of the

servants
like

of

Buddha.
?

Who
Lord

was there ever

Him

ihe

who never performed one
35

action

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
for

Himself

with a heart that
!

embra
of pity

ced the whole world
that

So

full

He
life

His
that

prince and monk to save a little goat

would give
!

So loving
hunger

He

sacrificed himself to the
!

to of a tigress hospitality of a And He came pariah and blessed him

the

\

my room when I was a boy and I For I knew it was the fell at His feet Lord Himself Many times he spoke of Buddha in
into
!
!"

this

fashion,

sometimes
of

at

Belur and

sometimes afterwards.
told

And

once he
the

us

the

story

Amb,pftli,
feasted

beautiful
in

courtesan

who

Him,

words that re-called the revolt of
great
:

Rossetti s

half-sonnet

of

Mary

Magdalene
"Oh

loose

me

!

Seest thou not

my
feet
kiss,

That draws me

to

Bridegroom him ? For his

s face,

my

My

hair,

my

tears,

He
:

craves

to-day

And oh

!

36

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA

What words
Shall

can

tell

what other day and place

see

me

blood clasp those stained feet of His ?
calls

He

needs me,

me, loves me,

let
!"

me go
all

But national feeling did not have it its own way. For one morning when

the

chasm seemed to be widest, there was a long talk on bhakti that per
fect identity

with the

Beloved that the

devotion

Ramananda the Rilya Bengali nobleman before Chaitanya so
of
"Four

beautifully illustrates

eyes met. There were changes
in

two

souls.

And now

1

cannot remember

whether he

is

a

man
!

And
All
I

I

a

woman, or he a woman and
I

a

man

know

is,

there were two,
is

Love
!"

It

one was that same morning that he
of the

came, and there
Babists
of

talked

Persia,

in

37

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
martyrdom of the woman who inspired and the man who wor And doubtless shipped and worked.
their era of

then he expatiated
his

on that theory of somewhat quaint and surprising to
for
for the

unaccustomed minds, not so much
the matter of the statement, as
explicitness

of the

greatness and who can love without seeking personal

of the expression, goodness of the young,

expression for their love, and their high
potentiality.

Another day coming at sunrise when the snows could be seen, dawn-lighted,
from the garden, it was Siva and Uma on whom he dwelt, and that was Siva, up there, the white snow-peaks, and the

upon Him was the Mother of the World For a thought on which at this time he was dwelling much was
light that
fell
!

that
<;

God

is

the
it,

Universe,

not within

it,

or outside

and not the universe

or the image of and the All.

God

God

but

He

it,

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
Sometimes
he would
sit
all

for

through the summer hours telling us stories,
of
all

those cradle-tales
function
fictions,
is

Hinduism, whose
that of our nursery
like

not at

but

much more,

the

man-

making myths of the old Hellenic world. Best of all these I thought was the
story of

Suka, and

we looked on the

Siva-mountains and the bleak scenery of Almora the evening we heard it for
the
first

time.

Suka,
refused to

the

typical
for

Paramahamsa,
fifteen

be born

years,

because he knew that his birth

wpuld
his

mean
father

his

mother

s

death.*

Then
the

appealed

to

Um^,

Divine

mother.
*

She was perpetually tearing
may
question this version of the story of
far

The

reader

Suka.

But the Sister Nivedita, as

as

put the facts here thus, intentionally, either to

more natural
his heart
;

or to suggest

the great

love

we can judge has make it appear* that Suka had in
was

for

he (Suka)

knew he would

leave father, mother,

kindred,
born,

home and
heart.

all for

the love of God, as soon as he

causing death-like pangs to them, especially *to his
s

mother

The

reader

should remember this also,

whi e reading the

last part

of the story.

39

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

down
Saint,

the veil of Ma,y& before the hidden

and Vy&sa pleaded that She should cease this, or his sou would never come to birth. UniTi consented, for one

moment

only and that

moment
forth

the child

was born.

He came
straight
father

a

young

man

sixteen years

of age,
forward,

unclothed,

and went
neither
his

knowing
mother,

nor

his

straight on, followed by Vyasa. Then, coming round a mountain-pass his

body melted away from him, because it was no different from the universe, and his father following and crying,
"Oh

my

son

!

Oh my son
echo,
"Om

!"

was answer
!
!"-

ed only by the

!

Om Om

among

the rocks.

Then Suka resum

ed his body, and came to his father to But Vyasa get knowledge from him.
found that he had none for him, and
sent him to Janaka, king of MithiU, the father of Sitsi, if perchance he might

have some

to give.

Three days he

sat

outside the royal gates, unheeded, with-

40

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
out a change of expression or of look.

The
ted

fourth
to

day he was suddenly admit

the king s presence with tclat. Still there was no change. Then as a test, the powerful sage

who was
translated

the

king s prime a himself into
beautiful

minister,

beautiful

woman, so present had

every one to turn away from the sight But of her, and none dared speak. Suka went up to her and drew her to
that
sit

beside him

on

his

mat,

while

he

talked to her of God.

Jandka oh King, if you seek saying, the greatest man on earth, this is he There is little more told of the life
"Know,
!"

Then

the minister turned

to

of Suka.

He

is

the

ideal

Parama-

hamsa.

alone amongst men was it given to drink a handful of the waters of that one undivided Ocean of Sat-Chit-

To him

Ananda

existence,
!

knowledge
saints die,
Its

and

bliss absolute

Most

having

heard only the thunder of

waves

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
upon the shore. A few gain the vision and still fewer, taste of It. But he drank of the Sea of Bliss
!"

was indeed the Swami s He was the type, to him, of saint. that highest realisation to which life and

Suka

the world are merely play. Long after, we learned how Sri Ramakrishna had

spoken of him
Suka."

in

his

boyhood
I

as,

"My

And

never can

one gazing far of joy, with which he once stood and quoted the words of Siva, in praise o:
look, as of

forget the into depths

the

deep
"I

spiritual

significance

of the

Bhagavad-Gita, and of the greatness o: Suka know, the real meaning o
the

Bhagavad-Gita and Suka knows, and perhaps Vyasc knows a little
!

teachings of the

Another day
talked
that

in

Alrnora the

Swam
live,

of the

great
in

humanising

had arisen inrolling wash

Bengal, at the lon| of the first wave o

modern conciousness

on the

ancien

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA

Of Ram Hindu culture. Mohun Roy we had already heard from And now of the him at Nani Tal.
shores

of

Pundit Vidy^sjigar he exclaimed "There of my age in Northern is not a man
India,
fallen

on
l"

whom
It

was a great joy
all

remember that R4makrishna had

shadow has not to him to these men and Sri
his

been born within

a few miles of each other.

to

The Svvami us now as

"

introduced Vidy&siigar the hero of widow re

marriage, and of the aboliton of poly But his favourite story ab out gamy."

him was of that day when he went home
from the Legislative Council, pondering over the question of whether or not to
adopt English dress on such occasions. Suddenly some one came up to a fat

Mogul who was proceeding homewards in leisurely and pompous fashion, in front of him, with the news Sir, your house is on fire The Mogul went
"

!"

neither faster nor slower for this infor-

43

NOTES OF
mation,

SO.\fE

WANDERINGS
messengei

and presently the

contrived to express a discreet astonish ment. Whereupon his master turned

on him angrily, "Wretch!" he said, "am I to abandon the gait of my ancestors,
because
a few
?"

sticks

happen

to

be

burning
behind,

Vidy^s^gar, walking determined to stick to the
sandals,

And

chudder, dhoti and

not even
,

adopting coat and slippers.

The

picture of

Vidysgar going into
for the

retreat for a

month

study of the

Sh^stras, (Scriptures), when his mother had suggested to him the re-marriage of
"He very forcible. came out of his retirement of opinion that

child-widows, was

they were not against such re-marriage, and he obtained the signatures of the
pundits that they agreed in this opinion. Then the action of certain native princes
led the pundits to abandon their own sig natures, so that, had the Government not

determined to

assist

the movement,

it

could not have been carried

and

now,"

44

.MORNING TALKS
"

AT ALMORA
difficulty

the added the Swami, an economic rather than a

has

social

basis."

We
force

could believe that

a

man who
spiritual."

\vas able to discredit

polygamy by moral
to

alone,
it

was

"intensely

And

was wonderful indeed
this giant

realise

the Indian indifference to a formal creed,

when we heard how

was driven

by the famine of 1864,

when 140000

to people died of hunger and disease, have nothing more to do with God, and

become entirely agnostic in thought. With this man, as one of the
educators of Bengal, the

Swami coupled

the name of David Hare, the old Scots man and atheist to whom the clergy of

Calcutta refused Christian

burial.

He
pupil

had died
through
carried his

of nursing
cholera.

an
his

old

boys dead body and buried it in a swamp, and made the grave a place of has That place now pilgrimage.

So

own

become College Square, the educational
centre and his school
is

now

within

the

45

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

And to this day, Calcutta University. students make pilgrimage to the tomb.

On

this

day we took advantage of
to

the natural turn of the conversation
the cross-question influence possible

Swami
that

as

to

the

Christianity

might have exerted over himself. Hi was much amused to hear that such ;i
statement had been hazarded, and told us with much pride of his only contac:
with missionary influences, in the persoi. of his old Scotch master, Mr. Hastie

This

hot-headed

old

man

lived

01

nothing, and regarded his room as boy s home as much as his own.

hi
I

was he who had
Sri

Swami Ramakrishna, and towards the em
first

sent the

>

t<

of his stay in India he used to say

"Ye

my

boy, you were
It is

right,
all is

you wer-

right!

true

that
!"

God

"

!"

am proud
"but

of
t

him

cried the

Swami

think you could say that hhad Christianised me much!" It appeal
I

don

ed,

indeed,

that

he had only been

hi

46

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
months, having attended college so irregularly that the Presidency College refused to send him
pupil
for

some

six

up

for his degree,
!

though he undertook
stories, too,

to pass

We

heard charming
subjects.
in

on

less serious

There
to

was the
city for

lodging-house
instance,

an American

where he had had

cook his
in

own
the

food,

and where he would meet,

course
ate

who

of operations, "an actress roast turkey everyday, and a

husband and wife who lived by making And when the Swami remons ghosts".
trated

with

the

husband, and tried to
to

persuade

him

give

up

ought people, saying this the wife would come up behind, and say eagerly "Yes Sir that s just
"You
!"

deceiving not to do

!

what

I

tell

him

;

for he

makes

all

the the

,

ghosts, and Mrs. Williams takes
money!"

all

He

told us also of a

young engineer,
at

an educated man, who,
47-

a spiritualistic

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
gathering,
"when

the fat Mrs. Williams

appeared from behind the screen as his thin mother, exclaimed Mother dear,

how you have
world
li
!"

grown

in

the

spirit-

At

this,"

said the

Swami,

"my

heart

broke,

for

I

hope

for the

man."

thought there could be no But never at a loss, he

told the story of a

Russian painter,
the
picture

who
of a

was ordered
peasant
s

to paint
father,

dead

the only descrip
!

tion given

being,

"Man

don
?"

t

I

tell

you he had a wart on

his nose

When

at last, therefore, the painter

had made

a p6rtrait of some stray peasant, and affixed a large wart to the nose, the

was declared to be ready, and the son was told to come and see it.
picture

He

stood in front

of

it,

greatly

over
!

come, and said
After
the

"Father
I

!

Father

how
last
!"

changed you are since

saw you

this, young engineer would never speak to the Swami again, which showed at least that he could see the

4s

MORNING TALKS A T ALMORA
point

of a

story.

But

at

this,

the

Hindu monk was genuinely

astonished.

In spite of such general interests, however, the inner strife grew high,

and the thought pressed on the mind of one of the older members of our party
that the

Master himself needed service

and peace. Many times he spoke with wonder of the torture of life, and who
can say
bitter

how many
?

need

A

signs there were, of word or two was

spoken

enough and he, after many hours, came back and told us that he longed for quiet, and would
little,

but

>o

alone

to

the

forests

and

find

soothing.

And
said

then,

looking up,

he .saw the
us,

young moon shining above
"The

and he

Mohammedans
Let us

think
also,
!"

much of
with the

the

new moon.

new moon, begin a new

life

And he

blessed his daughter with a great bless ing, so that she, thinking that her old
relationship

was broken, nor dreaming
49

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
new and deeper life was being given to it, knew only that the hour was
that a

strange and passing sweet. And so that strife was ended, and for all views and opinions of the Swami,

room made thenceforth, that they might be held and examined, and determined on at leisure, however im
there was
possible or unpleasing they might at the first.

seem

He
And

went.

It

was

Wednesday

H( on Saturday he came back. had been in the silence of the forest? ten hours each day, but on returning to
evenings, he had beer surrounded with so much eager atten dance as to break the mood, and he
his tent in the

had

fled.

Yes, he was radiant.
in

He

hac

discovered
sannyasi,

himself
to
cold,

the

old-time

able

go

barefoot,

anc
fare

endure heat,
else

and

scanty

unspoilt by the West.

This, and

wha
th<
th<

he had

got,
\ve

present,

and

was enough for left him, under
50

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
eucalyptus trees, and amongst the tearoses, in Mr. Sevier s garden, full of
gratitude and peace.

The
away,

following Monday he went with his host an-d hostess, on a
visit,

Ma v

30>

week s
to read,

and we were left in Almora and draw, and botanise. One
in

evening
after

that

week,

we

sat

talking

dinner.

Our

thoughts

were
,

curiously with the In one of us read aloud
"Yet

Memoriam

and
June 2nd,

in

these ears,

till

hearing dies,

One The

set slow bell will

seem

to toll

passing of the sweetest soul

That ever looked with human eyes. I hear it now, and o er and o er,
Eternal greetings to the dead
;

And Ave, Ave, Ave,
Adieu, Adieu, for
It

said,

evermore."

was the very hour at which, in the distant south, one soul of our own circle was passing out of this little church
visible of ours, into

some

finer radiance

and

more

triumphant

manifestation,

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
perhaps, in the closer presence possible But we did not know it yet. beyond.

another day the dark shadow knew not what hung over us.
Still

of,

we

And

then,

as

we

sat

working on

Friday

morning, the telegram came, a day late that said "Goodwin died last night a:
Ootacamund."

Our poor

friend
first

had,

i

:

appeared, been one of the of what was to prove an

victim:;

epidemic o*
*

typhoid with his

fever.
last

seemed tha breath he had spoken o
it

And

the Swami, and longed for his presence

by
June
5th.

his side.

Sunday evening, the Swam came home. Through our gate anc over the terrace his way brought him and there we sat and talked with him moment. He did not know our news

On

<

but a great darkness hung over hin
already,
silence

and presently he broke to remind us of that saint wh(
bite
"messenge

th<

had

called the cobra s
Beloved,"

from the

one

whom

he hac

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
loved,

second only to Sri Ramakrishna have just," he said, "received himself.
"I

a letter that says

:

Paohari
sacrifices

Baba has
with
the

completed

all

his

sacrifice of his

own body. He has burnt
fire."

himself in his sacrificial

"Swami

!

exclaimed
listeners,
"How

someone
t

from amongst his

"wasn

can
in

I

that very wrong?" tell said the Swami,
?"

speaking

great agitation.

"He

was

too great a man for me to judge. knew himself what he was doing."

He
and

Very

little

was said

after

this,

monks passed on. Not yet had the other news been broken. Next morning he came early, in a
the party of

j une 6th.

great mood.
afterwards,

He

had been

up,

he said

since four.

And one went
told him, of
fell

out to

meet him, and
s

Mr.
in

.

Goodwin
the place

death.
later,

The blow

quietly.

Some days

he refused to stay
it,

where he had received

and

complained of the weakness that brought the image of his most faithful disciple
53

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
constantly
into
his

mind.

It

was nc
be thus
than
fish

more manly, he ridden by one
the

protested, to
s

memory,
must

to or

retain the characteristics of the

dog.

illusion,

conquer this and know that the dead are
with
us,

Man

here beside us and
as ever.
tion that
It is their

as

much

are

a

absence and separa myth. And then he
bitter

would break out again with some

utterance against the folly of imagining Personal Will to guide the universe.
"As
if,"

he exclaimed,

"it

would not be
fight
for
if

one

s

right

and duty
slay

to

such a
killing

God
lived,

and
!

Him,
done

Goodwin

And Goodwin,
have

he had

could

so

much

!"

And
this

India one was free to recognise as the most religious, because the
in

most unflinchingly

truthful,

mood
it

of

all

!

And
I

while

I

speak of
put
later,

this utterance,

may perhaps
I

beside

another,

that

heard a year
fierce

the

same

spoken out ol wonder at the dreams
54

MORNING TALKS A T ALMORA
with
"Why

which
!"

we
said,

comfort
then,

ourselves.

he

"Every

petty

magistrate and
period

officer

is

allowed his
rest.

of retirement

God,
sit

The

Eternal
for

judging
!"

Only Magistrate, must and never go ever,
hours, the

and

free

But

in

these

first

was calm about his loss, and chatted quietly with
full

Swami and sat down
us.

He was
into

that

morning of bhakti passing
the

asceticism,

divine

passion
tides, far
it

that

carries the soul

on

its

high

out

of reach of persons, yet

leaves

again,

struggling to avoid

those sweet

snares

morning of renun ciation proved a hard gospel to one of those who listened, and when he came
a^ain she put
tion
it

of personality. What he said that

to

him

as her

convic-

that

to

love

without attachment

involved no pain, and was in itself ideal. He turned on her with a sudden
solemnity.
"What is

this idea of

bhakti

55

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
without
renunciation?"

he

said.

"It

is

and standing there for an hour or more, he talked of the awful self-discipline that one must impose
pernicious!"

most

on

oneself,

if

one

would

indeed

be

unattached,

of the

requisite nakedness

and of the danger that at any moment the most flowerlike soul might have its petals soiled
of selfish motives,

with the grosser stains of life. the story of an Indian nun

He

told

who was
of

asked when a

man

could be

certain

safety on this road,

and who sent back, for answer, a little plate of ashes. For the fight against passion was long and fierce, and at any moment the conqueror might become the conquered.

seemed that this banner of renunciation was the flag of a great victory, that poverty and selfas

And

he talked,

it

mastery were the only
the soul that

fit

raiment for

would wed the Eternal

Bridegroom,

and that

life

was a long

opportunity for giving, and the thing not

MORNING TALKS AT ALMGRA
taken away from us was to be mourned
as lost.

Weeks

afterwards, in Kashmir,
talking
in

when he was again

some

kindred fashion, one of us ventured to ask him if the feeling he thus roused

were not that worship of pain Europe abhors as morbid.
"Is

that

the worship of pleasure, then, so

noble
"But

?"

was

his

immediate

answer.

indeed,"

he added, after a pause,

"we

We

worship neither pain nor pleasure. seek through either to come at that
both."

which transcends them

This Thursday morning there was a June talk on Krishna. It was characteristic
of the
also

9th.

Swami s mind, and characteristic of the Hindu culture from which he
that he could lend himself

had sprung,
to the

enjoyment and portrayal of an idea one day, that the next would see
slain
pitiless analysis and left the field. He was a sharer to upon the full in the belief of his people that,

submitted to a

provided an

idea

was
57

spiritually true

NOTES OF
and
consistent,
its

SO. WE
it

WANDERINGS
very
little

mattered

about

objective actuality.
first

And

this

mode
to

of thought had
in

been suggested

him,

Master.
as
to

He
the

boyhood, by his own had mentioned some doubt
his

authenticity

of
!"

a

certain
said
Sri

religious history.

"What

Ramakrishna,
that

"do

you not then think
conceive

those

who

could

such

ideas must have been the thing

itself?"

The
general

existence of Krishna, then, like
us
in

that of Christ, he often told

the

way he doubted.
alone,

Buddha and
religious
to

Mahommed
teachers,

amongst

had been fortunate enough
well as friends
,

have enemies as
their
historical

so that

careers

dispute.

As
ruler,

for

were beyond Krishna, he was the

most shadowy of all.
a great
all

A poet,
in

a cowherd,

a warrior, and a sage had

perhaps been merged figure, holding the Gita
perfect of the
avatars."

one beautiful
hand.

in his

But to-day, Krishna was

"the

most

And

a wonderful

58

MORNIXG TALKS AT ALMORA
picture

followed,

of the charioteer

who

reined in his horses, while he

surveyed

the field of battle and in one brief glance noted the disposition of the forces, at
the
to

same moment
utter
to his

that he

commenced
the

royal

pupil

deep
the
this

spiritual truths of the Gita.

And

indeed as
of

we went through
northern
India

countrysides

summer, we had many chances of noting how deep this Krishna-myth had set its
the people. The songs that dancers chanted as they danced, in the

mark upon

roadside hamlets, were

all

of

Radha

-and

Krishna.
,i

And

the

Swami was fond of
of course,

statement, as to which we,

could have no opinion, that the Krishnaworshippers of India had exhausted the
possibilities of the
lyric poetry.

romantic

motive

in

curious old story of the Gopis, then, really a fragment of some pastoral
Is that

worship, absorbed by a

more modern
all

system, and persistently living on, in

59

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
its

dramatic tenderness and mirth, into
?

the glare of the nineteenth century But throughout these days,

the

Swami was fretting to be away and alone. The place where he had heard of Mr. Goodwin s loss was intolerable
to him,

and

letters

to

be written and

received constantly renewed the wound.

He

said one

day that
all
;

Sri Ramakrishna,

while seeming to be
within,
all

bhakti was really,

jndna
all

but

he

himself,

jndna, was full of bhakti, and that thereby he was apt to be as
apparently

weak

as any

woman.
carried off a few
writing,
faulty

One day he
lines of

back a

and brought little poem, which was sent to the widowed mother, as his memorial of
Requiescat
in
!

some one s

her son.

Pace

!

Speed
Speed,

forth,

O

soul

upon thy star-strewn path,
where thought
is

blissful one,

ever

free,

60

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA

Where

time and sense no longer
mist the view,

Eternal peace and blessings be on
thee!

Thy

service true, complete thy
sacrifice,

Thy home

the heart of love

transcendent

find,
all

Remembrance

sweet, that tells

Like altar-roses,

fill

space and time, thy place behind.

Thy bonds

are broke, thy quest
in bliss is

found.

And
Thou

one with that which comes
as
helpful

Death and
!

Life,

one

unselfish e er

Ahead,

still

on earth, aid with love this world
of
strife.

And
left

because there was nothing of the original, and he feared that
then,

she

who was

corrected (because her lines
61

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
had been
hurt,
"in

three

metres")

might be

he expatiated, long and earnestly
it

upon the theme that

was so much
in

greater to feel poetically than merely to
string syllables together

rhyme and
in

metre

!

He

might be very severe on a

sympathy
his

or an opinion that seemed

But an eyes sentimental or false. effort that failed found always in the Master
its

warmest advocate and tenderthat

est defence.

And how happy was

ment of the bereaved mother

acknowledg to him

when, in the midst of her sorrow sh( wrote and thanked him for the characte
of

his influence

over the son
!

who

ha(

died so far
June
loth.

away

It

was our

last

afternoon at
story

Almor;

that
1

we heard

the

of the fata

illnessofSriRamakrishna. Dr.
Lall

Mohendr
and
ha*
c
f

Sirkar had been called
to

in,

pronounced the disease
the
throat,

be cancer

leaving the young disciple
as to
its

;

with

many warnings

infectiou

>

62

MORNING TALKS AT ALMORA
iture.

Half an hour

later,

"Noren",

as he then was,

came

in

and found them

huddled together, discussing the dangers

what they had been told, and then, looking down, saw at his feet the cup of gruel that had been partly taken by Sri Ramakrishna and which must have contained in it,
of the
case.

He

listened to

germs of the mucous and pus, as
the
baffled

fatal
it

discharges of came out in his

attempts to swallow the thing, on account of the stricture of the food-

passage

in the throat.

He

picked
of

it

up,
all.

and

drank

from
the

it,

before

them

Never

was

infection

cancer

mentioned amongst the disciples again.

CHAPTER
ON THE WAY
On

IV.

TO KATHGODAM.

It

Saturday morning we left Almora. took us two days and a half to reach

Kathgodam. How beautiful the journey was Dim, almost tropical, forests, troops of monkeys, and the ever-wondrous
!

Indian night.

Somewhere en
old

route near a

curious

water-mill

and deserted

forge, the

Swami told
spoke of
experience

D/itr&

Mdtd

this

hillside

of a legend that as haunted by a

race of centaur-like phantoms, and of an

had

first

by which one seen forms there, and only
to him,

known

afterwards heard the folk-tale.

The
at a

roses were

but a flower was in
touch,

gone by this time, bloom that crumbled
this
out,
ii

and he pointed
its

because of

wealth of associations

Indian poetry.

64

ON THE WAY TO KATHGODAM

On Sunday afternoon we
the
Plains,
in

rested, near

j u ne i2th.

what we took to be an out-of-the-way hotel, above a lake and and there he translated for us the fall,
Rudra-prayer.
"From

the Unreal lead us to the
Real.

From darkness lead From death lead us

us unto light.
to immortality.

Reach us through and through
our
self.

And evermore
From

protect us

Oh
Terrible
!

Thou
ignorance, by

Thy

sweet
Face."

compassionate

He
fourth

hesitated
line,

a long time over the

"Embrace

thinking of rendering it, us in the heart of our heart".
us,

But at

last

he put his perplexity to
"The

say-

.

ing shyly, meaning us through and through ourself." He had evidently feared that this sentence,

real

is "Reach

with

its

extraordinary intensity,

might

65

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
not

make good sense

in English.

But

our unhesitating choice of that afternoon has received a deep confirmation in my

own

eyes, since
literal

I

have understood that
"O

a more

rendering would be, Thou who art manifest only unto Thy I self, manifest Thyself also unto us
!"

now

regard his translation as a rapid and direct transcript of the experience of

Samadki
renders
It

itself.

It tears

out of the
it

Sanskrit,

the living heart as it were, and

again in an English form. was indeed an afternoon of trans

lations,

and he gave us fragments
benediction
after

ol

the great

mourning,
the

which

is

one of the most beautiful of
;

Hindu sacraments
"The

blissful

winds are sweet

to us.

The

May
May

seas are showering bliss on us. the corn in our fields bring
bliss to us

the plants and herbs bring
bliss to us

May

the cattle give us

bliss.

66

ON THE WAY TO KATHGODAM

O

Father

in

Heaven be Thou
ful

bliss
!

unto us
is full

The very
(And

dust of the earth
of

bliss.

then,

the

voice

dying down
all
bliss."

into meditation),
It is all bliss
all bliss

And again we had Soor Das Song which the Swami heard from the Nautchgirl at

Khetri

:

O

Lord, look not upon

my

evil

qualities

!

Thy name,

O

Lord,

is

Samesightedness.

Make of us both the same Brahman One drop of water is in the sacred
Jumna,

!

And
But,

another

is

foul in the ditch

by

the roadside,

when they

fall

into the

Ganges,

both alike become holy. So Lord, look not upon my evil
qualities,

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

Thy name, O

Lord,

is

Samesightedness,

Make of us both the same Brahman One piece of iron is the image in
And
another
is

!

the temple the knife in the

hand of the butcher
But when they touch the philosopher
*

stone, both alike turn to gold

So Lord, look not upon my

evil

qualities

Thy name,
Make
that

O

Lord,

is

Samesightedness

of us both the

Was it that
Benares,

same Brahman same day, or some other
ii
,

he told us of the old Sannyasin

who saw him annoyed by
that
"Always

troop

>

of monkeys, and, afraid
turn and run, shouted,

he migh
face th

:

;

brute

!"

?

Those journeys were
were always sorry

delightful.

W
th;

;

to reach a destinatioi
aftei

.

At

this

time,

it

took us a whole
the Terai by
rail,

-

noon

to

cross

t

68

ON THE

WAY

TO

KATHGODAM

on which, as he reminded us, Buddha had been born. As we had come down the
strip of malarial

country,

mountain-roads,

we had met

parties of

country-folk, fleeing to the upper hills, with their families and all their goods,

which would be upon them with the rains. And now, in the train, there was the gradual change of
to escape the fever

vegetation
pleasure,

to

watch, and the Master

s

greater
in

than

that

of

any

proprietor, showing us the wild pea cocks, or here and there an elephant, or

a

train of camels.

Quickly enough, we came back to the palm-zone. Already we had reached
the

yuccas and cactus the day before, and deodar-cedars we should not see
till

again,

distant Acchabal.

69

CHAPTER V
ON THE WAY
Persons
:

TO BARAMULLA
;

The Swami Vivekananda
disciples.

Gurubhais,

am

amongst whom Mata, the Steady Mother whose name was Jaya and Nivediti.
party of Europeans,

A

wer<

Dhiri

;

On.

;

Place

rFrom
:

Bareilly to Baramulla, Kashmir.
to 2oth, 1898.

Time

June I4th

June

14th.

We entered
and great was
at the fact.
It

the Punjaub next day, the Swami s excitement

almost seemed as

if

he

had been born there, so close and special was his love for this province. He talked
of the girls at their spinning wheels, I am listening to the "Sohum Sohum
!

!

He

!

I

am He

!"

tion he turned to

Then, by a swift transi the far past, and unroll-

dd for us the great historic panorama ol the advance of the Greeks on the Indus,
the
rise

of

Chandragupta,
70

and

the

ON THE WA Y

TO

BARAMULLA

development of the Buddhistic empire. He was determined this summer to find
his

way

to Attock,

and see with
described
to

his

own
the

eyes spot turned back.

the

at

which Alexander was
us

He

Gandhara
have seen

sculptures,
in the

which he must

Lahore Museum the

year before, and lost himself in indignant repudiation of the absurd European
claim that India had ever sat at the feet
of Greece in things artistic.

Then

there were flying glimpses of
cities,

long expected
as children
lectures
too,

Ludhiana, where

certain trusty English disciples
;

had lived

Lahore,

where

his Indian

had ended; and so on.

We came,

upon the dry gravel beds of many rivers and learnt that the space between one pair was called the Doab and the
all,

area containing them
It

the

Punjaub.

twilight, crossing one of these stony tracts, that he told us of that great vision which came to him years ago,
at

was

while he was

still

new
71

to the

ways of the

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
life

of a

monk, giving back

to

him,

as

he always afterwards believed, the

ancient
"It

mode
was

of Sanskrit chanting.

evening,"

he

said,

"in

that

age when the Aryans had only reached I saw an old man seated on the Indus.
the bank
of the

great

river.

Wave

upon wave of darkness was rolling in upon him, and he was chanting from the Rik Veda. Then I awoke, and went

on chanting.

They were
ago."

the tones that

we used long Many months later, one of those who listened, heard the story ot this and vision once more from the Swami
;

it

seemed

to her then, with her

gathered
that

insight into his
it

method

of thought,

had been an experience of immense subjective importance. Perhaps it was a token to him of a transcendent continuity
in
it

the
to

spiritual

experience, forbidding-

be baffled even by the lapse of millenniums and the breaking of many
life-threads.
If so,

one could not expect

72

ON THE WAY TO BARAMULLA
him
to be explicit

on the

point.

Those
with
past,

who were

constantly preoccupied

imagination regarding their always aroused his contempt.
this

own

But on

second occasion of telling the story, he gave a glimpse of it, from a very
different point of view.

he was saying, "had caught the rhythm of the Vedas, the national cadence. Indeed I al
"Sankaracharya,"

ways
"I

imagine",

he went on suddenly,
far

with dreamy voice and

away

look,

always imagine that he had some mine when he was vision such as

and recovered the ancient young, music that way. Anyway, his whole
life s

work

is

nothing but

that,

the

throbbing of the beauty of the Vedas

and

Upanishads."

Speeches

like

this

were of course

purely speculative, and he himself could never bear to be reminded of the
theories to which he thus in

moments

of

emotion and impulse, gave chance
73

birth.

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

To

others

however they would

often

seem not
one of
"if

valueless.
nothing"

"Vivekananda is

exclaimed

his admirers in the distant
!"

not a breaker of bondage trifling incident of this day s journey recalls the words. At a station entering
the Punjaub, he called to

West, and a

medan vendor
his hand,

of food,

him a Mahomand bought from
to

and

ate.

From Rawalpindi

Murree,

went by tonga, and there we spent days before setting out for Kashmir.

we some

Here the Swami came
that

to the conclusion

any

effort

which he might make to
to accept a

induce the orthodox

Euro

pean as a
tion of

fellow-disciple, or in the direc

woman s
in

education,

had better

Bengal. The distrust of the foreigner was too strong in Punjaub, to

be made

admit of work succeeding there.
wass

He

much occupied by

this

question,

from time to time, and would sometimes

remark on the paradox presented by the
74

ON THE WAY TO BARAMULLA
of political anta gonism to the English, and readiness to love and trust.

Bengali combination

We

had reached Murree on

Wed

It nesday afternoon, June the i5th. was again Saturday, June the i8th, when we set out for Kashmir. One of our party was ill, and that

June

18th,

day we went but a short distance, and stopped at Dulai, the first dak bun
first

It was a curi galow across the border. ous moment, leaving British India be

hind, with the crossing

of a dusty, sun
to

baked bridge.
just

We

were soon

have

a vivid realisation of just

how much and
of the

how

little this

demarcation meant.
in

We
Jhelum.

were now

the valley
journey,

Our
to

whole
Baramulla,

from
to

Kohala
pass, the
river.

was

run

through a narrow,
Here,

twisting,

mountain-

rapidly-rising

ravine of this

at Dulai, the

speed of the

was terrific, and huge watersmoothed pebbles formed a great shingle.
current

75

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Most of the
pelled

afternoon,

we were com

by a storm to spend indoors, and a new chapter was opened at Dulai, in our knowledge of Hinduism, for the Swami told us, gravely and frankly, of its modern
abuses, and spoke of his own uncompro mising hostility to those evil practices

which pass under the name of Vdmdckdra.

When we
krishna,

asked how Sri

Rama-

who never

could bear to con

the hope of any man, had looked at these things, he told us that the old

demn

man had

every house may have a scavengers entrance!" And he pointed out that all sects of
"Well,
!

said

well

but

diabolism,
to

in

any
It

country,

belonged
but

this class.

was a

terrible

necessary revelation, that never required to be repeated, and it has been related
here, in
its

true

place,

in

order that

none may be able
those

to say that

he deceived
the

who

trusted him, as to

worst

things that might be urged against of his people or their creeds.

any

76

ON 7 HE WAY TO BARAMULLA

We
Swami
seemed

took

it

in turns to drive

with the

June

19th

in his tonga,
full

and

this

next day

of reminiscence. of

Brakmavufyd, the vision of the One, the Alone- Real, and told how love was the only cure for He had had a school-fellow, who evil.
grew up and became rich, but lost his health. It was an obscure disease, sap
ping his energy and vitality daily,
altogether
doctors.
baffling

He

talked

the

skill

of

yet the

At last, because he knew that the Swami had always been religious,
and men turn
to religion

when

all

else
"him.

fails, he sent to beg him to come to When the Master reached him,

a

curious thing
to his

happened.
text
"Him

mind a

There came the Brahmin

conquers, who thinks that he is separate Him the Kshatriya from the Brahmin.
conquers, who from the Kshatriya.
thinks that he
is

,

separate

And

him the

Universe conquers who thinks that he is separate from the Universe." And the
77

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
sick

man grasped
so,-"

this,

and recovered.
"though
I

"And

said the

Swami,

often

things and angry things, yet remember that in my heart

say strange

never seriously mean to preach any thing but love All these things will
I
!

come

right,

only

when we

realise that

we

love each other.

day before, that, talking of the Great God, he told us how when he was a child, his mother
it

Was

then, or the

would sigh over
"so

and say many prayers and austerities, and
his naughtiness,

instead

of a
!"

me you

till

good soul, Siva has sent he was hypnotised into

a belief that he was really one of Siva s demons, He thought that for a punish ment, he had been banished for awhile

from Siva

s

heaven, and

that

his

one

effort in life

must be

His

first

act

go back there. of sacrilege, he told us once,
to

had been committed at the age Jof five, when he embarked on a stormy argu

ment with

his mother, to the effect

that

ON THE
when
his
it

IVA Y

TO BARAMULLA.
soiled
to
lift

right

hand was

with
his
this

eating,

would be cleaner

tumbler of water with the

left.

For

or similar perversities, her most drastic remedy was to put him under the watertap,

and while cold water was pouring!
!"

over his head, to say "Siva Siva This, he said, never failed of its effect.

The
exile,

prayer would

remind him of
to himself
!"

his

and he would say
again

"No,

no, not this time

and so return
for

to quiet

He
women

and obedience. had a surpassing love
of the future that
if,

Mahai

dev, and once he said of the Indian

amidst their

new tasks they would only remember now and then to say "Siva Siva it
!
!"

would be worship enough. The very air of the Himalayas was charged, for him, with the image of that "eternal meditation" that no thought of pleasure
could break.
said,

And he
first

understood,

he

for

the

time this summer,
the nature-story that

the

meaning of

79

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
made
Ganges fall on the head of the Great God, and wander in and out
the

amongst His matted locks, before she found an outlet on the plains below. He had searched long, he said, for the words that the rivers and waterfalls uttered, amongst the mountains, before he had realised thatit was the eternal cry "Bom
!

Bom

!

Hara

!

Hara
"He

!"

"Yes

!"

he said of

Siva one day,
great

is

the Great God,
!

calm, beautiful, and silent
worshipper."

and

I

am His

his subject was marriage, as of the soul s relation to God. the type

Again
is

he exclaimed, "though the love of a mother is in some ways
"This
why,"

greater,

yet

the whole world takes the
as

love of

man and woman
has
siich

the

type.

No other
power.

The
is

tremendous idealising beloved actually becomes
be.

what he
transforms

imagined to
talk

This love

its object."

strayed to national types, and he spoke of the joy with which

Then

the

So

ON THE

IVA Y

TO BARAMULLA

the returning traveller greets once more the sight of the men and women of his

own
to

country.

The whole
in

of

life

has been

a sub-conscious education to enable one

understand

these

every faintest
a group of

ripple of expression in face and form.

And

again

we passed

sannyasins going on foot, and he broke out into fierce invective against asceti

cism as

"savagery."

It is

a peculiarity
life
is

of India that only
perfectly conscious In other lands, a

the

religious
fully
will

and

developed.

man

hardships, in order to in business, or enterprise, or

many

undergo as win success
even
in

sport, as these

men were probably endur But the sight of wayfarers doing ing. slow miles on foot in the name of their
ideals,

seemed

to rouse

in

his

train

of painful
torture of

associations,

mind a and he

grew impatient on behalf of humanity,
at
"the

religion."

Then again
it

the

mood

passed, as suddenly as
to the

had

arisen,

and gave place
81

equally

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
strong statement of the conviction thai were it not for this "savagery," luxury

would have robbed man
liness.

of all his

man

We stopped that evening at
How
mud
beautiful
fortress

Uri dak

bungalow, and in the twilight, we al walked in the meadows and the bazar
little place was exactly of the Europeai

the

!

A

feudal pattern

overhung the

footwa>

as it swept into a great open theatre o field and hill. Along the road, abov<

the river, lay the bazar, and we returnee to -the bungalow by a path across the
past cottages in whose garden: As we came the roses were in bloom.
fields,

would happen that here and there some child, more venturesome thai
too,
it

others,

would play with
next day,

us.
th<

driving through most beautiful part of the Pass, and see ing cathedral rocks and an old ruine<

The

temple of the Sun,
mulla.

we reached Bara
is

The legend

that the Vale

o

82

ON THE WAY TO BARA MULL A
Kashmir was once a
this point the

lake,

and that

at

Divine Boar pierced the mountains with his tusks, and let the

Jhelum go
geography
it

free.

Another piece
form of myth.
?

of
is

in the

Or

also prehistoric history

CHAPTER
THE VALE
Persons
:

VI.

OF KASHMIR.
and
a
party

The
the

Swami

Vivekananda

o

Europeans, amongst

whom

were Dhira Mata

*Steady Mother,

One whose name wa

Time.
Place.

Jaya, and Nivedita. June 2Oth to June 22nd.

The River Jhelum
is

Baramulla to Srinagar.

"It

said that the

Lord Himself

is
!

the weight on the side of the fortunate cried the Swami in high glee, returning

pur room at the dakbungalow, and sitting down, with his umbrella on his As he had brought no com knees.
to

panion, he had himself to perform all the ordinary little masculine offices, and

he had gone out to hire dungas, and dc what was necessary. But he had im
mediately fallen in with a man, who, on hearing his name, had undertaken the

whole business, and sent him back,
of responsibility.

free

THE VALE OF KASHMIR.
So we enjoyed
the

the day.

We
at

drank
about

Kashmiri tea out of a Sdmdvdr and ate

jam of the country, and

four o clock

of a

flotilla

possession of dungas, three in number,

we entered

into

on

which presently

we

set

forth

for

Srinagar.

The
friend,

first

we were moored

evening, however by the garden of the

and there we played with the children, and gathered forget-

Swami

s

me-nots, and watched a circle
sants, singing, at

of pea

the freshly-cut

some harvest-game in cornfields. The Swami,

still

returning to his boat about eleven, could as he passed us in the dark, hear

the end of our

warm

discussion about

the effect of the introduction of

money
in the

on rural peoples. We found ourselves, next day,

midst of a beautiful valley, ringed round with snow-mountains. This is known
as the Vale of Kashmir, but
it

might b e

more accurately described, perhaps, as
the Vale of Srinagar.

The

city of Isla-

35

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
mabad had
in
its

own

valley,
it

the river, and to reach

we had

higher up to wind

and out amongst the mountains. The sky above was of the bluest of the blue
along which we

and the water-road
travelled,

was also,

perforce, blue.

Some

times our
tangles

way lay through great greer of lotus-leaves, with a rosy

dower or two, and on each side stretch ed the fields, in some of which, as w
came, they were reaping.

The whol

and green an white, so exquisitely pure and vivid th

was a symphony
for*
its

in blue

a while the response of the soul beauty was almost pain
!

to

That

first

morning,
fields,

taking a

walk across the

we

long came upon an
in

immense chennaar

tree,

standing

the

It really look midst of a wide pasture. ed as if the passage through it might

shelter

the

proverbial

twenty cows

!

The Swami fell of how it might

to architectural

visions

be

fitted

up as a dwell

ing-place for a hermit.

A small cottage

86

THE VALE OF KASHMIR
might in hollow of
fact

have been
living
tree.

built

in

the

this

And
a

then
to

he talked of meditation,
consecrate every

in

way

chennaar we should

ever see.

We
some

turned, with him, into the neigh

bouring farm-yard. There we found, seated under a tree, a singularly hand
elderly

woman.
and
sat

She

wore the
of the

crimson coronet and white

veil

spinning wool, while round her, helping her, were her
wife,

Kashmiri

two daughters-in-law and The Swami had called at
before,
in

their children.
this

farm once

often

the previous autumn, and spoken, since, of the faith and
of this

He had very woman. begged for water, which she had at once Then, before going, he had given him.
pride

asked her quietly,
is
?"

"And

what,

Mother,
!"

thank God, Sir your religion had rung out the old voice, in pride and
"I

triumph, "by the mercy of the Lord, I am a Mussalm^n!" The whole family

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
received him now, as an old friend, and

were ready to show every courtesy to the friends he had brought. The jour to Srinagar took two to three days, ney

and one evening, as we walked in the fields before supper, one who had seen
the K&lighat, complained to the Master of the abandonment of feeling there,

which had jarred on her.

"Why

do
?"

they kiss the ground before the Image she exclaimed. The Swami had been

which he pointing to the crop of til, thought to have been the original of the
English
dill,

and

calling

it

"the
"

oldest

oil-bearing seed of the Aryans at this question, he dropped the

But
little

blue flower from his hands, and a great hush came over his voice, as he stood
still

and

said.

"Is

it

not

the

same

thing to

kiss

the

ground before that

Image, as to kiss the
the,se mountains?"

ground before

Our Master had promised that before the end of the summer he would

THE VALE OF KASHMIR
take
us
into
retreat,

and teach us
to

to

meditate.
for

We

had now

go

to

Sri-

a long-accumulating mail, and nagar the question rose as to the arrangement
of the holiday.

should

first

was decided that we see the country, and after
It

wards make the

retreat.
in

The
and

first

evening

Srinagar

we
one

dined out, with some
in the

Bengali

officials,

course of conversation,

of the western

guests

maintained that

the history of every nation illustrated and evolved certain ideals, to which the

people of that nation should hold them selves true. It was very curious to see

Hindus present objected to this. To them it was clearly a bondage, to which the mind of man could not per
the

how

manently submit

itself.

Indeed, in their

revolt against the fetters of the doctrine,

they appeared to be unable to do justice to the idea itself. At last the Swami
intervened.

he

said,

"that

think you must admit," the ultimate unit is psycho"I

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
logical.

This

is

much more permanent

than the

geographical."

And

then he

spoke of cases known to us all, of one of whom he always thought as the most
he had ever seen, yet she was a Bengali woman, and of another, born in the West, who was a better Hindu than himself. And was
typical
"Christian"

not

this,

after

all,

the

ideal

state

of
the

things, that each should be born in

other

country to spread the given ideal as far as it could be carried ?
s

CHAPTER

VII.

LIFE AT SRINAGAR.
Place
:

Srinagar.

Time

:

June 22nd to July

1

5th, 1898.

the mornings, we still had long sometimes it would be talks, as before the different religious periods through
In

which Kashmir had passed, or the mora of lity of Buddhism, or the history,
Siva-worship, or perhaps the of Srinagar under Kanishka.
position

Once he was
"the

talking

with one of us

about Buddhism, and he suddenly said

Buddhism tried to do, in the time of Asoka, what the world He re never was ready for till now
fact
is,
!"

ferred to the federalisation of religictas. It was a wonderful picture, this, of the
religious imperialism of

Asoka,

broken

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
down, time and again, by successive waves of Christianity and Mohammedan
ism, each claiming exclusive rights over

the conscience of mankind, and finally to seem to have a possibility, within

measurable distance of time, to-day

!

Another

time, the talk

was of Genghis

or Chenghiz Khan, the conqueror from "You hear Central Asia. people talk of

him as a vulgar
passionately,
"but

aggressor,"

he cried

that

is

not true!

They

are never greedy or vulgar, these great souls He was inspired with the thought
!

of unity, and he

wanted

to

unify
cast in

his

world.

Yes, Napoleon was

the

same mould.

And

another, Alexander.

Only those
!"

three, or

he passed on to speak of that one soul whom he believed to have come again and again in reli
gion, charged with the divine impulse to

manifesting itself in And then quests

perhaps one soul, three different con

bring about the unity of man in God. At this time, the transfer of the

92

LIFE

AT SRINAGAR
to the

Prabuddha Bharata, from Madras

newly established Ashrama at Mayavati was much in all our thoughts. The

Swami had always had
given
eager,
it

a special love for

this paper, as the beautiful

name he had

indicated.
too,

He
the

had always been

for

establishment of

organs of his own. The value of the journal, in the education of Modern
India,

he

felt

was perfectly evident to him, and that his Master s message and

of thought required to be spread by this means, as well as by preaching and by work. Day after day, therefore

mode

he would dream about the future of his
papers, as about the centres. Day after

work

in its

various

of the forthcoming first the new editorship of

day he would talk number, under

Swami Swaruafternoon

pananda.

And

one

he

brought to us, as we sat together, a paper on which, he said, he had "tried
to write a letter, but
it

would come

this

way

!"

93

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

To The Awakened
Once more awake
For sleep
bring thee
eyes, for
it
!

India.

was,

not

death,

to

life

anew, and

rest to lotus-

visions daring yet.

The
Truth,

world,

in

need, awaits,
for thee
!

Oh

no death

Resume thy march, With gentle feet
road-side dust that
strong,

that

would not
so low,

break the peaceful pose, even of the
lies

yet

and steady, blissful, bold, and free. Awakener, ever forward Speak thy rousing words
!

!

Thy home Where
But

is

gone,

loving hearts had

thee up, and
fate
is

brought watched thy growth. strong, and this the law,

All things

go back

to the

source

they sprang, their strength to renew.
Thien start afresh
the land of thy birth, where great cloud-belted snows do bless

From

94

LIFE AT SRINAGAR
and put
river
their

strength in thee, for
to

working wonders new. The heavenly
tune thy voice
her

own

eternal

song

;

deodar shades oive

thee ne er-dying peace,

And

all

above,

Himalaya s daughter Uma, gentle, pure, the Mother who resides in all who works all as power and life, and makes of One the world works, whose mercy opens the gate to Truth, and shows the One in all, give thee
;

unending strength which Love.

is

Infinite

They bless thee, all The seers great, whom age nor
can claim
the race,
their

clime

own, the fathers of
the heart of truth

who

felt

the same, and bravely taught to man, Their servant, ill-voiced or well.

thou hast caught their secret, but One.

tis

95

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Then
speak,

Oh Love

!

Before thy gentle voice so sweet, behold how visions melt, and fold

on
till

fold of

dreams departs

to void,
all its

Truth, bare Truth, in

glory

shines.

And

tell

the world
!

Awake

!

Arise

!

and

dream no more
This
is

the land

of dreams,

where

karma weaves unthreaded garlands,
with our thoughts, of flowers sweet and none has root or or noxious, stem, being born in nothing, which the softest breath of Truth drives

back

to primal nothingness.

Be bold
it
!

and

face, the

Truth.

Be one with
or, if

you cannot dream but truer dreams, which are
Eternal Love and Service Free.

Let visions cease,

The Master was
us^all,

longing to leave

quiet,

and go away into some place of alone. But we not knowing this,
on accompanying him
96
to

insisted

the

LIFE
Coloured
Bhavani",

AT SRINAGAR

"Kshir called Springs, it or Milk of the Mother,

was

said

to

be the

first

time

that

Christian

or

Mohammedan had
and

ever

landed

there,

thankful enough for of it, since afterwards
the most sacred of
all

we can never be the glimpse we had
it

was

to

become

names

to us.

An

amusing incident was that our Mussalman boat-men would not allow us to land
with shoes on; so thoroughly Hinduistic is the Mohammedanism of Kashmir,
with
its

forty

rishis,

and pilgrimages
June 29th
-

made

fasting, to their shrines.

Another day we went ofTquietfy by ourselves, and visited the Takt-i-Suleiman, a little temple very massively built, on the summit of a small mountain two
or

thousand feet high. It was and beautiful, and the famous peaceful Floating Gardens could be seen below
three
for

us,

miles

around.

The

Tak^-i-

Suleiman was one of the great illustra tions of the Swami s argument, when he
97

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
would take up the subject of the Hindu

shown temples and monuments. As he had
love of nature as of sites for

in the choice

architectural

declared,
lived

in

London,
so

that

the

saints

on the
one
of

hill-tops, in

order to enjoy the scenery,

now he

pointed

out,

citing

example
people

after another,

that our Indian

always

consecrated

places

peculiar beauty and importance, by ing there their altars of worship.

mak And

there was no denying that the little Takt, crowning the hill that dominated the

whole

valley,

was a case

in point.

Many
come
live
in

lovely fragments of those days into mind, as
Tulsi, take thou care to

"Therefore,

with

all,

for

who can

tell

where, or

what garb, the Lord Himself may
thee?"

next come to
"One

God

is

hidden

in all these, the
all,

Torturer of all, the Awakener of
Reservoir of
bereft of all
all

the
is

being, the

One

Who

qualities."

98

LIFE AT SRINAGAR
"There

the sun does not shine, nor
stars."

the moon, nor the

There was the story of how Ravana was advised to take the form of Rama,
in

order to cheat Sita.
I

He

answered,

"Have

order to

thought of it? But in take a man s form you must
not

meditate

on him

;

and

Rama

is

the

Lord Himself; so, when I meditate on him, even the position of Brahma be comes a mere straw. How then, could
I

think of a
"And

woman

?"

so",

"even

in

commented the Swami, commonest or most the
there are these
thus.
glimpses."

criminal
It

life,

was ever

He

was constantly

interpreting human life as the expression of God, never insisting on the heinous-

ness

or

wickedness

of an act

or

a

character.
"In

that

which
awake.

is

dark night to the

rest of the world, there the

man

of

self-

control

is

That which
is

is life
him."

to the rest of the

world

sleep to

99

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Speaking of Thomas a Kempis one day, and of how he himself used to

wander as a sannyasin, with the Gita and the Imitation as his whole library, one word, he said, came back to him,
inseparably associated of the western monk.

with the

name

"Silence

ye teachers of the world, and silence Speak thou ye prophets
! ! !

alone,

O

Lord, unto

my

sou!

!"

Again
"The

soft

shirisha flower can bear

the

weight of

humming

bees,

but not of birds

So Uma, don
tapasy&f

t

you go and make come, Uma, come!

delight and idol of

my

soul

!

Be
r

seated,

Mother on the

lotus

of

my
And
let

heart,

me

take a long long look at

you.

100

LIFE

AT SRINAGAR
birth
up,
I

From my

am

gazing,

Mother, at your face-

Know
Be

you suffering what trouble, and pain ?
Blessed
heart,

seated, therefore,

One

on the lotus of

my

And

dwell there for

evermore."

Every now and then there would be long talks about the Gita, "that wonder
ful

poem, without one note in it, of weakness or unmanliness." He said one
it

day that
to

was absurd

to

complain that

knowledge was not given to women or sudras. For the whole gist of the Upanishads was contained in the Gita
it,

Without
be

indeed,
;

they could hardly

understood

and

women and
Mahabharata.

all

,

castes could read the

With great fun and secrecy Swami and his one non- American
ciple

the
dis

Ju| v 4th

-

prepared to celebrate The Fourth of July. A regret had been expressed
101

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
in his hearing, that

we had no American

Flag, with which to welcome the other member of the party to breakfast, on and late on their National Festival
;

the afternoon of the third, he brought a

pundit durzey

in great

excitement,

ex

plaining that this imitate it, if he
stars

man would be
were
told

glad to

how.

The

and

stripes

presented, I that was nailed, with branches

were very crudely re fear, on the piece of cotton
of ever

greens, to the head of the dining-roomboat, when the Americans stepped on

Independence But the Swami had postponed a Day journey, in order to be present at the
early tea,
!

board

for

on

little festival,

a

poem

to

and he himself contributed the addresses that were now

read aloud, by

way

of greeting.

To THE FOURTH
That gathered thick

OF JULY.

Behold, the dark clouds melt away,
at

night,

and

hung
102

LIFE

AT SR1NAGAR
pall,

So

like

a gloomy

above the
earth
!

Before thy magic touch, the world Awakes. The birds in chorus sing.

The

flowers

raise

their

star-like

crowns,

Dew-set and wave thee welcome
fair.

The

lakes are opening wide in love,

Their hundred-thousand lotus-eyes,

To welcome

thee,

with

all

their

depth.
All hail to thee,

Thou Lord
thou

of Light

\

A welcome
Oh Sun
!

new

to thee, to-day,

To-day

sheddest
Liberty
!

Bethink thee how the world did wait,

And

search for thee,

through time* and clime *
love
of

Some gave up home and
Clime
Climate.

friends,

103

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

And went
Through
Each

in

quest of thee,

self-

banished,

dreary

oceans,

through
forest,
life

primeval
step

a

struggle

for

or
!

death

Then came

the day

when work bore
fruit,

And And

worship, love and sacrifice,

Fulfilled, accepted,

and complete.
rose
to

then thou, propitious,

shed

The light of Freedom on mankind Move on, Oh Lord, in thy resistless
!

path
Till thy high

!

noon o erspreads the
world
;

Till

every land

reflects thy light

;

Till

men and women,

with uplifted
head,

Behold

their shackles broken,
in

and
life
!

Know

springing joy,

their

renewed
104

LIFE AT SRINAGAR
That evening someone pained him
by counting the cherry-stones left on her plate, to see when she would be
married.
in
July 5th.

He, somehow, took the play the following earnest, and came,
for

morning, surcharged with passion
the ideal renunciation.
"These

shadows

marriage cross he cried, with that tender desire then
!"

home and even my mind now and
of

July 6th.

to

make himself one

with

the

sinner
it

that he so often

showed.

But

was

across

oceans of scorn

for those

who

would glorify the householder, that *he sought, on this occasion, to preach the
religious
life.
"to

"Is

it

so

easy,"

he ex

be Janaka ? To sit on a throne absolutely unattached ? Caring
claimed,

nothing for wealth or fame, for wife or child ? One after another in the west
has told

me

that he

had reached
such great
!

this.

could only say are not born in India
I

But

men

And

then he turned to the other side.

105

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
"Never
forget,"
"to

he said to one of

his hearers,

say to yourself,
"as

and to

teach to your children, the difference between a firefly and the blazing sun,

between the

infinite

ocean and a

little

pond, between a mustard-seed and the mountain of Meru, such is the difference

between
Sannyasin

the
!"

householder

and
with

the

"Everything is

fraught
is

fear

:

Renunciation alone
"Blessed

fearless."

be

even the fraudulent

sddhus, and those
carry out their
also

who have failed to vows, in as much as they
to

have witnessed

the

ideal,

and
the

so are in

some degree the cause of
!

success of others
"Let

us

never,

never,

forget

our

ideal

!"

At such moments, he would
tiimself

identify

entirely with the

thought he

sought to demonstrate, and in the same sense in which a law of nature might be

deemed

cruel or arrogant, his expositior
1

06

LIFE AT SRINAGAR
might have those
listening,
to face

qualities.

Sitting

and

we

felt ourselves brought face

with the invisible and absolute.

All this

was on our return
a

to

SriJuly-

nagar,

from the real

Fourth of

Celebration, which had been
the

visit

to

There we had seen the Shalimar Bagh of Nur Mahal, and the Nishat Bagh, or Garden of Glad
Dahl Lake.
and had spent the hour of sunset quietly, amongst the green of the irises, at the foot of giant chennaar trees. That same day, Dhirft, Mdtd and she
ness,

whose name wasjayd, left for Gulmarg, on some personal business, and the

Swami went with them,

part of the way.
of

At nine o clock on the evening

the following Sunday, July the loth, the first two came back unexpectedly,

and presently,
sources,

from

many
the news

different

we gathered
to

that

tfye

Master had gone

Amarnath by

the

Sonamarg

route,

and

would return

another way.

He

had started out penni107

NOl^ES OF
less,

SOME WANDERINGS
to

but that could give no concern his friends, in a Hindu Native state.

A disagreeable
day or two and
It

incident occurred,

a

later,

when a young man,
turned
up,

eager to become a disciple,
insisted
felt

was

on being sent on to him. that this was an unwarrant
privacy which he but as the request

able intrusion on that

had gone to seek, was persistent, it was granted, and life flowed in accustomed channels for a day
or two.

What were we

setting

out for

?

We

were just moving to go down the river, on Friday and it was close on five in the
afternoon,

when

some of their and word was brought that the Swami s boat was coming towards us. An hour later, he was with us, saying how pleasant it was to be back. l*ne summer had been unusually hot and certain glaciers had given way,
rendering
the

the servants recognised friends in the distance,

Sonamarg
1

Route

to

08

LIFE

AT SRINAGAR
This
fact

Amarnath

impracticable.

had
the

caused his return.

But from
first

this

moment dated

of three great increments of joy and realisation that we saw in him, during
in

our months
as
if

Kashmir.

It

was almost

could verify for ourselves the truth of that saying of his Guru
"There is

we

indeed a certain ignorance.

It

has been placed there by Mother that her work may

my Holy
be done.

But
It

it is

only like a film of tissue paper.
at

might be rent

any

moment."

109

CHAPTER
THE TEMPLE
Persons
:

VIII.

OF PANDRENTHAN.
a party
of

The Swami Vivekananda and
ropeans,

Eu

amongst the Steady Mother

whom
;

were

Dhira Mata
Jay;

One whose name was

and Nivedita.
Time.
Place.

July i6th to igth.

Kashmir.

It

fell

to

the

lot

of one

of the

next day, to go the river with him in a small boat.

Swami s disciples,

down As it

went, he chanted one song after another of "Ram Prasad, and now and again, he

would translate a verse. call upon thee Mother.
"I

For though

his

mother
*

strike

him,

The child
^
"Though
I I

cries

"Mother!

Oh

Mother.
*

*
I

cannot see Thee,
!

am
still

not a lost child
cry

Mother! Mother

!"

-

no

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTf/AN
and then with the haughty dignity of an offended child, something that ended

am not the woman Mother
"I

son to
|"

call

any other

must have been next day, that he came into Dhtrd Mdtd s dunga, and
It

JuiyiTth.

talked

of

Bhakti.

First

it

was

that

curious

Hindu thought

of Siva

and

It is easy to give the but without the voice, how com words,

Uma

in one.

And then paratively dead they seem there were the wonderful surroundings
!

picturesque Srinagar, tall poplars, and distant snows.
that river-valley,
foot of the great mountains,
to us

Lombardy
There,
in

some space from the
he chanted

how

"The

Lord took a form and

that

was a divided form, half woman, and half man. On one side, beautiful
:

,

garlands

and

coils

on the other, bone ear-rings, On one side the of snakes.
j

hair black, beautiful,

and

in

curls

on
then

the other, twisted like

rope."

And

in

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
passing immediately into the other for of the same thought, he quoted
"God

became Krishna and Radhsl
flows in thousands of coils.

Love

Whoso
Love

wants, takes

it.

flows in thousands of coils

The And

tide of love
fills

and loving

past,
!"

the soul with bliss and joy
that his

So absorbed was he
fast

break

stood unheeded

ready, and
tantly,

when

long after it was at last he went reluc

saying When one has all this bhakti what does one want with food ?
it

ly,

was only to come back again quick and resume the subject. But, either now or at some other
he said that he did not talk of

time,

Radha and Krishna, where he looked It was Siva who made stern for deeds.
and earnest workers, and to Labourer must be dedicated.

Him

the

The

next day, he gave us a quaini

saying of Sri Ramakrishna,
1

comparing

12

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTIfAN
the
critics

of others to bees or

flies,

ac

cording as they chose honey or wounds. And then we were off to Islamabad,

and

really, as

it

The

first

proved, to Amarnath. afternoon, in a wood by

July toth

the side of the the long-sought

Jhelum, we discovered

Temple

of Pandrenthan

(Pandresthan, place of the Pandavas ? ) It was sunk in a pond, and this was
thickly covered with scum, out of which
it

rose, a tiny cathedral of the

long ago,

built

of heavy grey limestone. The consisted of a small cell, with temple

four

doorways, opening to the cardinal

points.

Externally, it was a tapering with its top truncated, to pyramid, give foothold to a bush supported on a
pedestal.

four-pierced
ture, trefoil

In

its

architec

and triangular arches were combined, in an unusual fashion, with each other, and with the straight-lined
lintel. It

was

built

with

marvellous

and the necessary lines were somewhat obscured by heavy ornament.
solidity,

8

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

We

were

all

much

distressed,

on

arriving at the edge of the pond in the wood, to be unable to go inside the little
temple, and examine the interior deco rations, which a number of guide-books

declared to be
say,

"quite classical,"

that

is

to
!

Greek or Roman, in form and finish Our grief was turned into joy, how

ever,

when

our

hajjis,

or

brought up a countryman, took to provide a boat for
brought
out,

boatmen, who under

us.

This he

from under

the scum,

and

he proceeded to placing a chain on it, drag us each in turn about the lake,
himself wading almost waist-deep in the
water.

So we were
go
inside.
all

able, as

we had

desired, to

For

but the

Swami

himself, this

\sas our first

logy.

peep at Indian Archaeo So when he had been through it,
to observe the interior.

he taught us how
In
large

centre of the ceiling was a sun-medallion, set in a square

the

whose points were the points of the
114

THE TEMPLE OF PAXDRENTHAN
compass.
filled

This

left

four equal triangles,

at the corners of the ceiling,

which were

and female
pents,

with sculpture in low relief, male figures intertwined with ser
beautifully

done.

On

the

wall

were empty spaces, where seemed to have been a band of topes. Outside, carvings were similarly dis
tributed.

In one of the trefoil arches
door,

over,
fine

I

think, the eastern

was a

image of the Teaching Buddha, standing, with His hand uplifted. Run

ning round the buttresses was a muchdefaced frieze of a seated woman, with a
tree,

evidently

of Buddha.

Maya Devi, The three other

the

Mother

door-niches

were empty, but a slab by the pond-side seemed to have fallen from one, and this
contained a bad figure of a king, said by the country-people to represent the sun.

The masonry
superb,
its

and

temple was accounted for probably
of this
little

single block long preservation. of stone would be so cut as to correspond,

A

.VOTES OF

SOME WANDERINGS

not to one brick in a wall, but to a sec
tion of the

architect s

plan.

It

would

part of two dis tinct walls, or sometimes even of three.

turn a corner and form

take the building as very, very old, possibly even earlier than The theory of the workmen Marttand.
fact

This

made one

seemed so much more
ing than of building
it,
!

that of carpenter

The water

aboul
the

was probably an overflow,

into

temple-court, from the sacred spring thai the chapel itself may have been placed as the Swami thought, to enshrine.

him, the place was delightfully It was a direct memoria suggestive.
of

To

Buddhism,

representing one of the
into

four

religious periods

which he
History
o

had already divided

the

Kashmir and i. Tree
:

Snake-worship,

frorr

\\hich dated

all

the

names of the

spring;

ending
2.

in

Ng,
;

as Vernag,
3.

and so on
in
th<

Hinduism, form of Sun-worship and 4.
;

Buddhism

Moham

116

THE TEMPLE OF FANDRENTHAN
Sculpture, he told us, was the characteristic art of Buddhism, and

medanism.

the

sun-medallion, or lotus,

one of

its

commonest
with
the

ornaments.

The

figures

serpents referred to pre- Bud

But sculpture had greatly dete riorated under Sun-worship, hence the
dhism.
crudity of the Surya figure. And then we left the little temple in

the woods.

What had

it

held, that

men

might worship, nearly eighteen centuries ago,* when the world was big, with
the births of mighty things ? not tell. could only guess.

We

could

while, to

knee,
picture

Mean bow the one thing we could One the Teaching Buddha. we could conjure up the great
city,

We

wood-built

with

this at its heart,
fire,

long years afterwards destroyed by

and now moved some

five

miles

away.

And
*

so,

with a dream

and a

sigh,

we
>

_^__________

assumed Pandrenthan, when we saw it, Kaniksha s time, 150 A. D. I am not sure that it
so
old.

We

to be of
is

really

N.

117

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
wended our way back through
to the river-side
It

the trees,

was the time of
!

sunest,
in

such a
the

sunset

The

mountains

west

were

a shimmering purple. Further north, they were blue with snow and
all

cloud.

The sky was green and
with
red,

and touched

and

daffodil

colours,

yellow flame bright against a blue

and opal background. We stood and looked, and then the Master, catching that sight of the throne of Solomon ex little Takt which we already loved
claimed
in
"what

genius the Hindu shows
!

He always placing his temples chooses a grand scenic effect! See! The
Takt commands the whole of Kashmir.

The

rock of Hari

Parbat

rises

red

out of blue water, like a lion couchant,

crowned.

And

the

Temple of Marttand
!"

has the valley at its feet Our boats were moored

near the
see

edge of the wood, and we could

that the presence of the silent chapel, ol

118

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTHAN
the Buddha, which

foregathered mDhird Mdtd s houseboat, and a little of the conver
all

moved ing we

the

we had just explored, Swami deeply. That even

sation has been noted

down.
talking

Our Master had been
Christian
ritual

of

as

derived

from

Buddhist, but one of the party would

have none of the theory. did Buddhist "Where

ritual

itself

come from
"From

?"

She asked. answered Vedic,"

the

Swami
"Or

briefly.

as
is

it

was present
it,

also in southern

Europe,

it

not better to

suppose a

common
"No

origin for

and the Christian,
?"

and the Vedic
!

rituals
!"

No
!

he replied.

"You

for

Buddhism was entirely within Hinduism Even caste was not attacked it was not yet crystallised, of and Buddha merely tried to course restore the ideal. He who attains to
get that
!

God

in

this

life,

says

Mann,

is

the

119

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Brahmin. Buddha would have had so, if he could."
"But

it

how

are
"

Vedic and Christian

ritual

connected
"How

nent.

persisted his oppo could they be the same ?
?
"

nothing even corresponding to the central rite of our worship
!
"

You have

Why

"

Mass, the offering of food to God, your Blessed Sacrament, is our pras&dam. it offered Only
"Vedic

yes ritual has
!

said
its

the

Swami,

not kneeling, as is common in hot countries. They kneel in Thibet.
sitting,

Then,

too,

Vedic

ritual

has

its

lights,

incen-se,

music."

"But,"

was the somewhat ungracious
"has

argument,
Objections
elicited

it

any common
in this

prayer?"

urged
a

way always

some

bold

contained

new

paradox which and unthought-of
the
question.
!

generalisation. He flashed
"N*o
!

down on
had

and neither
is

Christianity

That

pure protestantism and protes120

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTHAN
tantism took
it

from the Mohammedans,
!

perhaps through Moorish influence
"Mohammedanism
that
is

has completely

the only religion broken down the

idea of the priest. The leader of prayer stands with his back to the people, and

only the reading of the Koran may take Protestantism place from the pulpit.
is

an approach

to this.

Even
in

the tonsure existed in India,
I

the

shaven head.

have

seen a

picture of Justinian

from two monks, in heads are entirely shaven. The monk and nun both existed, in pre-Buddhistic

receiving the Law which the monks

Hinduism.
from the
"

Europe
rate,

gets

her orders

Thebaid."

At

that

then,
!

you accept

Catholic ritual as
"Yes

Aryan

almost
I

all

I

believe.

am
I

Christianity is Aryan, inclined to think Christ,
I

never existed.
ever
since

have doubted

that,

had
121

my

dream,

that

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
dream off Crete! # Indian and Egyptian ideas met at Alexandria, and went forth
to

the

world,

tinctured

with Judaism

and Hellenism, as Christianity. "The Acts and Epistles, you know, are older than the Gospels, and S. John
is

spurious. sure of is S.

The
Paul,

only figure

we can be

and he was not an

eye-witness, and according to his showing was capable of Jesuitry
all

own
"by

means save

souls"

isn

t it ?

to India, in

*In travelling from Naples to Port Said, on his way back Januaay 1897, the Swami had a dream of an old
"This

and bearded man, who appeared before him, saying is th island of Crete," and showing him a place
island, that

in

the

he might afterwards

identify.

The

vision

went
in the

to say that the religion of Christianity

had originated

island of Crete

and

in

connection with this gave him two

European words,
declared, were

one of which was Therapeufae

which

it

Therapeutae meant sons (from the Sanskrit putrci) of the Theras, or Buddhist monks. From this the Swami was to understand that
derived from Sanskrit.
Christianity had originated in a Buddhist mission.

The

old

man added
"Dig

*

The

proofs are all
!"

here,"

pointing to the ground.

and you will see As he awoke, feeling that

this

the

Swami
officer,

rose,

and tumbled out on deck.

was no common dream, Here he met
"What

an

turning in from his watch.

o clock

is it

!

122

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTHAN
11

No

!

Buddha

and

Mahommed,

alone amongst religious teachers, stand out with historic distinctness, having been fortunate enough to have, while

they were living,
friends.

enemies as well as
I

Krishna

doubt

;

a yogi,

and a shepherd, and a great king, have all been amalgamated in one beautiful
figure,

holding the Gitft
not

in his
is

hand.
froth.

"Kenan s life

of Jesus

mere
the

It

does

touch

Strauss,

real

antiquarian.
said the

Two
;

things
!"

stand out as
"Where

Swami.

"Mid-night

was the answer.
to

are

we

?"

he then said
"fifty

when,
miles
off

his astonishment,
"

the

answer came back

Crete

!

Our Master used
could never shake

to laugh

at himself

for the

strength of

the impression that this
it off.

dream had made en him.

But he
of

The

fact

that

the

second

the

two etymologies has been lost, is deeply to be regretted. The Swami had to say that before he had had this dream,
it

had never occurred

to

him

to

of Christ

was

strictly

historic.

We

doubt that the personality must remember, how-

ever, that according to

ness of an idea that

is

Hindu philosopy, it is the complete important, and not the question of its

krishna,

The Swami once asked Sri RiVnawhen he was a boy, about this very matter. "Don t answered his Guru, "that those who could invent you think
historical authenticity.
!"

such things were themselves that

?"

I2 3

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
personal living touches in the life of the woman taken in adultery, Christ,
the most beautiful story in and the woman at the
literature,

well.

How
Indian

strangely
life
!

true

is

this

last, to

A

woman, coming

to

draw water,
yellowfor water.
little

finds, seated at the well-side, a

clad

monk.

He

asks

her

Then He

teaches her, and does a

mind-reading and so on. Only in an Indian story, when she went to call the
villagers, to look

and
his

listen,

the

monk
fled

would have taken
to the forest
"On
!

chance, and

the whole,

I

think
for

old

Rabbi

teachings of Jesus, and an obscure Jewish sect of Nazarenes a sect of great antiquity
responsible
1

Hillel

is

the

S. Paul, galvanised by furnished the mythic personality, as a centre of worship.

suddenly

v

"The

Resurrection,

of course,

is

simply spring-cremation.

Only the rich Greeks and Romans had had cremation
124

THE TEMPLE OF PANDRENTHAN
any way, and the new sun-myth would
only stop
"

it

amongst the

few.
!

But

Buddha
the

he was
lived.

Buddha Surely ever greatest man who
!

He

never

drew a breath
all,

for

himself.

Above

he never claimed
is

worship. man, but
door.

He
a

said, "Buddha
I

not a

state.
all

have found the
!"

Enter,

of you

"He

went

to the feast of Ambapjlli,

the sinner.

He

dined with the pariah,

though he knew

it

would

kill

him,

and

sent a message to his host on his death bed, thanking him for the great deljverance. Full of love and pity for a little
goat,

even before he had attained the
!

truth
his
if

You remember how he offered own head, that of prince and monk,

only the king would spare the kid that he was about to sacrifice and how the

king was struck by his compassion, that he saved its life ? Such a mixture
rationalism and feeling was never seen Surely, surely, there was none like him
!

r>f

!"

125

CHAPTER
WALKS AND TALKS
Persons
:

IX.

BESIDE THE JHELLUM.
a

The Swami Vivekananda, and
Europeans, amongst
the

party

of

whom
;

were Dhira Mata,

Place

:

was Jaya Kashmir.

Steady Mother and Nivedita.
;

One whose name

Time

:

July 2Oth to July 29th, 1898.

Next
the

day,

we came

to

the ruins

of

two great temples of Avantipur. Each hour, as we went deeper and deeper into the interior, the river and the moun

tains

grew more

lovely.

And

amidst the

immediate attractions of

fields

and

trees,

and people with whom we felt thoroughly at home, how difficult it was to remem ber that we were exploring a stream in
Central

Asia

!

To

those

who have

seen Kashmir in any season, a wealth of memory is called up, by Kalidas
picture of the
spring-forest,
in
all
its

126

WALKS fr TALKS BESIDE THEJHELLUM
beauty of wild cherry-blossom, and almond and apple, that forest, in which
Siva
sits

beneath a dheodhar,

when

Uma,

princess of the

Himalaya, enters

with her offering of a lotus-seed garland, while close at hand stands the beautiful

young god with
flowers. All that

his quiver
is

and bow of

spring,

or

lovely

divine in an English in woods of the

Normandy, and multiplied,

at Eastertide,
in

the

gathered up charms of the

is

vale of Kashmir.

That morning, the
and shallow and

river

was broad

clear,

and two of us

walked with the Swami, across the fields and along the banks, about three miles.

began by talking of the sense of sin, how it was Egyptian, Semitic and Aryan.
It

He

appears

in

the

Vedas,

but quickly

The Devil is recognised passes out. there, as the Lord of Anger. Then,
with the Buddhists, he became M&ra,
the Lord of Lust, and one of the most

loved of the Lord

Buddha s

titles

was

127

NOTES OP SOME WANDERINGS
"conqueror

of

Mara",

vide the Sanskrit

lexicon (Amarkosha) that Swami learnt to patter, as a child of four But while
!

Satan

is

the

Hamlet

of the Bible, in the

Hindu
never

scriptures,

the

Lord of Anger

divides

creation.

He
of

always

represents defilement, never duality.

Zoroaster was a reformer
old religion.

some
Ahri:

Even Ormuzd and

man, with him, were not supreme they were only manifestations of the Supreme.

That older religion must have been Vedantic. So the Egyptians and Semites
cling to

theory of sin, while the Aryans, as Indians and Greeks, quickly
the
it.

lose

In India, righteousness
vidyd,

and

sin

become
sians

and avidyd,

both to be

transcended.

Amongst

the Aryans, Per

and Europeans become Semitised, * by religious ideas, hence the sense of sin.
*

One

of those

who

listened to this talk,

had a wonderful
as well as

opportunity, later, of appreciating the accuracy,
the breadth of the
Parsis glad to
sit

Swami

s

at his feet,

knowledge, when she saw two and learn from him the history

of their

own

religious ideas

N.

128

WALKS fr TALKS BESIDE THE JHELLUM

And

then the talk drifted, as

it

was

always so apt to do, to questions of the

What idea country and the future. must be urged on a people, to give
them strength ? The line of their own development runs in one way, A. Must
-

the

new

accession of force

be a compensating one, B ? This would producea deve

lopment midway between
the two, C, a geometrical But it was not so. alteration, merely.
>c

National
forces.

of that
rest.

was a question of organic We must reinforce the current life itself, and leave it to do the
life

Buddha preached

renunciation,

and India heard. Yet within a thousand
years, she

had reached her highest point

of national prosperity.
in

The

national
its

life

India has renunciation as

source.

Its highest ideals are service

and mukti.
Marriage

The Hindu mother
is

eats last.

not for individual happiness, but for the welfare of the nation and the caste.

129

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
Certain individuals
of

the

modern

reform, having embarked on an experi ment which could not solve the problem,
4

are the sacrifices, over which the
walk."

race

has to

And

then the trend of conversation

changed again, and became all fun and merriment, jokes and stories. And as we
laughed and listened, the boats came up, and talk was over for the day.

The whole of that afternoon and night, the Swami lay in his boat, ill. But next day, when we landed at the
already thronged with Amarnath pilgrims he was able to join us for a little while. "Quickly up -and quickly down," as he said of himself
terpple of Bijbehara

was always his characteristic. After that, he was with us most of the day, and ir
the afternoon,

we reached

Islamabad.

The dungas were moored beside ar apple-orchard. Grass grew down to th( water s edge, and dotted over the lawi stood the apple and pear and even plun
130

WALKS

<Sn

TALKS BESIDE THE JHELL UM

trees, that a
it

Hindu
to

state
plant,

used to think
outside

necessary

each

In spring-time, it seemed to us, spot must be that very IslandValley of Avilion.
village.
this
"Where falls

not

hail,

or rain, or

any snow.

Nor ever wind blows

loudly
fair

;

but

it

lies,

Deep-meadowed, happy,

with

orchard-lawns,

And bowery
The
came

hollows,

crowned with

summer
houseboat,
in

sea."

which two of us
so
far,

lived, could not be taken

so

it

deep and rapid portion of the stream, between high how beautiful was the hedges, and
to rest in a very

walk, from the one

point to the other, under the avenue of poplars, with the
rice

wonderful green of young

on either

hand

!

In the dusk that evening, one came into the little group amongst the apple

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
trees,

and found the Master engaged

in

the rarest of rare happenings, a personal talk with DhirQ, Mdtd, and her whose

He had taken two Jaya. pebbles into his hand, and was saying
name was
how, when he was
direct itself to this
well, his

mind might
or his
will

and

that,
let

might seem

less firm,

but

the

least

touch of pain or illness come, let him look death in the face for a while, and

hard as that (knocking the stones together), for I have touched the
"I

am

as

feet of

God."

And

one

remembered,

apropos of this coolness, the story of a walk across the fields, in England, where he and an Englishman and

woman had been pursued by an angry bull. The Englishman frankly ran, and
reached the other side of the
safety.
hill
ir

The woman ran
and then sank

as

far

as

she

could,

to

the

ground

incapable of further effort. Seeing this and unable to aid her, the Swami,

thinking

"So

this

is

the end, after

all

-

132

WALKS fr TALKS RESIDE THEJHELLUM
took up his stand in front of her, with He told afterwards how folded arms.
his

mind

was

occupied
to

with

a
far

mathematical calculation, as to
the bull would be able
the

how
a

throw.

But
few

animal
off,

suddenly stopped,
then,

paces

and

raising

his

head,

retreated sullenly.

A
was

like
far

courage though he himself these from of thinking

had shown itself, in his early youth, when he quietly stepped up to a runaway horse, and caught it, in the
incidents
streets of Calcutta, thus

saving the
occupied

life

of the

woman,

who

the

carriage behind.

The
grass
for

talk drifted on, as
trees,

we

sat

on the

beneath the

and became,

We

an hour or two, half grave, half gay. heard much of the tricks the

monkeys could play, in Brindaban. And we elicited stories of two separate occasions in his wandering life, when
he had had clear previsions of help,
33

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
which had been
I

fulfilled.

One

of these

remember.

It

occurred at the
the

may possibly have time when he was under
and he had

vow

to ask for nothing,

been several days (perhaps five) without food. Suddenly, as he lay, almost dying
of exhaustion,
flashed into his
in

a railway-station,
that he must

it

mind

rise

up, and go out along a certain road, and that there he would meet a man, He obeyed, and bringing him help.

met one, carrying a tray of you he to whom I was sent
mari,
at

food.
?"

"Are

said

this

coming up
closely.

to

him,

and looking
us,

him

Then
its

a child was brought to hand badly cut, and the

with

Swami

He bathed applied an old wives cure. the wound with water, and then laid on
it,

to stop the bleeding,

the ashes
villagers

of a

piece

of calico.

The

were

soothed and consoled,

and our gossip

was over
duly 23rd

for the evening,

The

next morning, a motley gather-

134

WALKSfr TALKS BESIDE THEJHELLUM
assembled beneath the and waited some hours, to apple-trees
ing of coolies

take us to

the

ruins

of Marttand.

It

had been a wonderful old building

more abbey than temple, in a wonderful position, and its great interest
evidently
lay in the obvious agglomeration of styles

and periods

in

which

it

had grown up.

Never can I forget the deep black shadows under the series of arches that
confronted
us,

as

we

entered

in

mid-

afternoon, with the sun directly behind There were three the west. us, in
arches, one straight

behind the ojher,
at

and just within the farthest of them,
two-thirds of
lined
its

height, a

heavy

straightall

window
but
this,

top.

The
the

arches were

trefoil,

only
as

first

and second

showed

moment
evidently

of

we saw them at the The place had entering.
as

originated

three

small

rectangular temples, built, with heaVy blocks of stone, round sacred springs.

The

style of these three

chambers was

135

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
all straight-lined,

severe.

Taking the

middle and furthest East of the three, some later king had built round it an
enclosing wall, placing a trefoil arch outside each low lintel-formed doorway,

without interfering with the original in any way, and then had added to it in
a larger nave, with a tall trefoil arch as entrance. Each building had been so perfect, and the motive of the
front,

two epochs of construction was so clear that the plan of the temple was pure delight, and until one had drawn it, one
coulfi

not

stop.

The dharmsdld

or

cloister, round the central building, was extraordinarily Gothic in shape, and to

one who has seen this, and the royal tombs of Mohammedanism in the north
of India,
cloister
it is
is,

once suggested that the the whole of a ideally,
at

monastery,
climates,
it

though, in our cold can not be so retained, its

and

presence the East

is

a perpetual

reminder that

was

the

original

home

of

136

WALKS fr TALKS BESIDE THEJHELLUM
monasticism.

The Swami was hard
the

at

work,

in

an

instant,

on observations and
cornice that

theories, pointing out

ran along the nave from the entrance to
the sanctuary, to the
west,

surmounted

by the high trefoils of the two arches and also by a frieze or showing us the and before panels containing cherubs
; ;

we had
coins.

done, had picked up a of couple The ride back, through the sun

set light,

was charming.

From

all

these

hours, the day before and the day after, fragments of talk come back to me.
"No

nation,

not

Greek
t

or

another,

has ever carried patriotism so far as the
Japanese.
give

They don

talk,

up all for country. noblemen now living in

they act There are

Japan

as

peasants, having given up their prince doms without a word to create the unity
of the
*

empire.*
is,

And
mistake.
that

not
It

one
was

traitor

This

I

think a
their

their political

privileges,

not

estates,

the

Japanese samurais

renounced.

137

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
could be found in
the

Japanese war.
inability
"Shy

Think of

that

!"

Again,

talking

of the
feeling,

of

some

to

express

and

reserved people, I have noticed, are always the most brutal when roused."

Again,
ascetic
life,

evidently

talking

of

the

and

giving the rules of
"The

brahmackarya.
thinks

sannyasin
it,

who

of gold, to suicide," and so on.

desire

commits
and the

The darkness
forest,
1

of

night

a great pinefire under the trees, two or three tents standing out white
in the blackness, the

forms and voices
fires

of

many

servants at their

in

the

distance,
disciples,

and the
such
to
is

Master with three
picture.

the next

Of

Vernag, under the appleorchards and along the common-sides, of the pouring rain, and the luncheon in
the road

the hard-won

sunshine, of that grand

old palace of Jehangir, with its octagonal tank at the foot of the pine-wooded hills,

138

WALKS fr TALKS BESIDE THE JHELLUM
much might be said. But the crown of the day came in the hours after dinner, when we were, at long last, alone, and
the constant
file

of visitors

and wor
ceased.
to

shippers, with their gifts, had Suddenly the Master turned

one

member

party and said "You never mention your school now, do you
of the

sometimes forget it ? You see," he have much to think of. One went on,
"I

day

I

turn to Madras, and think
there. to

of the
all

work

attention

Another day America or

I

give

my

England or
I

Ceylon or Calcutta. ing about yours."

Now
the

am

think

At
called

that

moment
to dine,

Master
till

was
in

away

and not

he came

back could the confidence he had
vited,

be given.
listened to
it

He

all,

the deliberate

wish for a tentative plan, for smallness
of beginnings, and the final inclination to turn away from the idea of inclusive-

ness and breadth, and to base the whole

139

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
of an educational effort on the religious
life,

and

on

the

worship

of

Sri

Ramakrishna.

you must be sectarian get that enthusiasm, must you not he said. "You will make a sect
"Because

to
?"

in
I

order to

rise

above

all

sects.

Yes

understand."

There would be obvious difficulties. The thing sounded, on this scale, al most impossible, for many reasons. But
only care need be to will rightly, and if the plan was sound, ways and means would be found to
for the

moment

the

hand, that was sure.

He
heard
it

waited
all,

a

little

when he had
said,
I
"You

and then he
criticise,

ask
do.

me
For

to
I

but that

cannot

as
i

much

regard you as inspired, quite You know inspired as I am.

that s the difference

between other

reli-

gions and us. Other people believe their founder was inspired, and so do we.

But so

am

I,

also,

just as

much

so

as

140

WALKSfr TALKS BESIDE THE JHELLVM
he,

and you as

I,

and

after you,
be.

your
I

girls

and

their disciples will

So

shall

help you to do what you think best." Then he turned to Dhira Mata and
to Java,

trust

and spoke of the greatness of the that he would leave in the hands

of that disciple who should represent the interests of women, when he should

go

west,

of

how

it

would
for

exceed

the responsibility of

work

men.

And

he added, turning to the worker of the party, "Yes, you have faith, but you have not that burning enthusiasm that you
need.

You want
!

to be

consumed energy.
so,

Siva

Siva

!"

and

invoking

the

blessing of

and

left us,

Mahadeva, he said goodnight and we, presently, went to bed.
Ju| v 25th

next morning, we breakfasted early, in one of the tents, and went on to Achhabal. One of us had had a

The

dream of old jewels all bright and new.

lost

and restored,
"Never

But the Swami,

smiling, stopped the tale, saying talk of a dream as good as that

!"

141

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
At Achhabal,
Vernag,
that
?

we

found
it

more

gardens of Jehangir.

Was

here, or at

had been

his

favourite

resting-place

bathed

roamed about the gardens, and a still pool opposite the Pathan Khan s Zenana, and then we lunched in the first garden, and rode down in
in

We

the afternoon to Islamabad.

As we

sat

at

lunch,

the

Swami

go to the Cave of Amarnath with him, and be dedicated to Siva. Dhira Mata smiled permission, and the next half-hour was given to
invited his daughter to

pleasure

and

congratulations.

It

had

already been arranged that we were all to go to Pahlgam and wait there for
the

Swami s return from the pilgrimage. So we reached the boats that evening,
letters,

packed, and wrote

in the afternoon, started for

and next day Bawan.

142

CHAPTER X
THE SHRINE
Time.
Place.

OF AMARNATH.

July 2Qth to August 8th 1898.

Kashmir.

From
of
the

this

time

we saw very

little

Ju| v 29th

Swami.

He

was

full

of

enthusiasm about the pilgrimage and lived mostly on one meal a day, seeking

no company much, save that of sddhus. Sometimes he would come to a campingground, beads in hand. To-night two of the party went roaming about Bawan,

which was

like

a village

fair, all

modified
in the

by a religious tendency, centering
sacred springs.

Afterwards, with Dhira
to
*
,

go and listen, at the tent door, to the crowd of Hindispeaking sddhus who were plying tjie
it

Mata

was possible

Swami

with questions.

On

Thursday, we reached Pahlgam.

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
and camped down
valley.
at the lower

end of the
the

We

found that the

Swami had

to encounter high

opposition over

question of our admission at all. He was supported by the Naked Swamis,

one of

whom

said,

"It

is

true

you

strength, Swamiji, but you not to manifest it He yielded at ought the word. That afternoon however, he
this
!"

have

took his daughter round the camp to be
blessed,

which

really

meant

to distribute

alms,

and whether

because

he was

looked upon as

rich, or

because he was

recognised as strong the next day our tents were moved up to a lovely knoll,
at

the

head of the camp, where we

had the rushing Lidar in front of us, and pine-covered mountains opposite,
with a glacier distinctly visible, beyond a cleft high up. stayed a whole day,

,

We

shepherds, to k^ep ek&dasi, and early next morning the pilgrims left.
at
this
village,

of the

July 30th.

At

six in the

morning we had break144

THE SHRINE OF AMARNA TH
tasted

and were

off.
it

What

time

the

camp had moved,
to guess, for

seemed impossible

even at our early meal-time very few pilgrims or tents were left. The ashes of dead fires were all that

marked the place where yesterday had been a thousand people and their
canvas homes.

How
next

beautiful

was the route
!

to the

halt,

Chandanawara

There we

camped on the edge of a ravine. It rained all afternoon, and I was visited by
the

Swami
I

But

only for a five-minute s chat. received endless touching little
In the
I

kindnesses from the servants and other
pilgrims.

interval

between two

showers

went out botanising, and found

seven or eight species of Mycsotis, two of which were new to me. Then I went

back to the shadow of
hr-tree.

my

dripping

The second
than

any of

stage was much harder the It seemed others.
to

endless.

Close

Chandanawara, the
45

10

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
doing my first glacier on foot, and took care to point out every detail of intrest. A tremen dous climb of some thousands of feet,

Swami

insisted

on

my

was the next experience. Then a long walk along a narrow path that twisted round mountain after mountain, and
finally

another steep climb.
first

of the

At the top mountain, the ground was

Then simply carpeted with edelwiess. the road passed five hundred feet above
Shisharnag,
at last

with

its

we camped

sulky in a cold
1

water,

and

damp

place

amongst the snow-peaks,

8000 feet high. The firs were far below, and all after noon and evening the coolies had to

forage for juniper in all directions. The Tahsildar s, Swami s and my own tents

were

all

close together,

and

in the

even

ing a large fire was lighted in front. But it did not burn well, and many feet

below lay the

glacier.

I

did not see

the

Swami

after

we camped.
the
place of the
five

Pantajharni

146

THE SHRINE OF AMARNA TH
streams

was

not

nearly
it

march. Moreover,
Shisharnag,

was lower

such a long than

and the cold was dry and exhilarating. In front of the camp was a dry river-bed, all gravel, and through
this

ran

five

streams, in

all

which
to

it

was the duty of the pilgrim
walking from one
garments.
tion
to

bathe,

the other in

wet

Contriving to elude observa

completely, Swamiji nevertheless fulfilled the law to the last letter in this

respect.

The lovely were the flowers or was it this night ? large night before, blue and white anemones grew in my
!

How

tent,

beneath
off,

my
in the

bed

!

And
I

here,

wandering
a glacier

afternoon, to
quarters,

set

at

closer

found

gentian, sedums,

saxifrages,
little

and a new

hairy silver thick like velvet pile. Even of leaves, jxmiper at this place there was very

forget-me-not

with

little.

At

these

heights

we

often

found

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
ourselves in great circles of snow-peaks, those mute giants that have suggested to
the

Hindu mind the

idea of the

Ash-

encovered God.
August 2nd.

Tuesday. August the 2nd, the great day of Amarnath, the first batch of pilgrims must have left the camp at

On

two

!

We

left

moon. The

by the light of the full sun rose as we went down

the narrow valley. It was not too safe, But when at this part of the journey.

we

left

our ddndies and began to climb,

sort of goatthe real danger began. path o in almost vertical hill-sides, becom

A

ing in the descent on the other side, a Every here tiny staircase in the turf.

and
one

there,

delicate

columbines,
roses,

Mich
their

aelmas
to

daisies,

and wild

tempted
in

risk

life

and

limb

Then, having at last reached the bottom of the farther slope,
acquistion.

along the glacier, mile About a mile after mile, to the Cave.
to toil

we had

before our destination, the

ice

ceased,

148

THE SHRINE OF AMARNATH
flowing water had to bathe. Even when
in the

and

the

pilgrims
to

we seemed

have arrived, there was still quite a ascent over the rocks to be made.

stiff

The Swami,
time,
fallen

exhausted, had by this behind, but I, not remem

bering that

below the

might be ill, waited, banks of gravel for his

he

He came at last, and, appearence. with a word, sent me on, he was going to bathe. Half an hour later he entered
the
at

cave.

With

a smile he knelt,

first

one end of the semi-circle, then at the other. The place was vast, large

enough
great
base.

to

hold

a
in

cathedral,

and the

ice-Siva,

a niche
if

of deepest
its

shadow, seemed as

throned on

own

A

few minutes passed, and then

he turned to leave the cave.

To

him, the heavens

had opened.
Siva.

He

had touched the
to hold

feet of

He

had had

himself tight,

he said

afterwards, lest

he should swoon away/
his physical exhaustion,

But so great was

149

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
that a doctor

said

afterwards

that

his

heart

ought to have stopped beating, and had undergone a permanent enlarge

ment

instead.

fulfilment

strangely near had been those words of his

How

Master,

"when

he

realises

who and
"

what he
"

I

give up this body he have enjoyed it so much
is

he

will

!

"

!

hour afterwards, as he sat on a rock above the stream-side, eating
said half an

lunch with the kind
myself.
"I

Naked Swami and

Siva

thought the ice-lingam was And there were no Himself.

thievish

Brahmins,
It

no

trade,

wrong.

was

all

worship.

nothing I never
"

enjoyed any religious place so much Afterwards he would often tell of the
!

overwhelming vision that had seemed He to draw him almost into its vertex.
1

would

talk of

the
it

poetry of the white

ice-pillar,

and

was he who suggested

discovery of the place hact been by a party of shepherds, who had wandered far in search of their flocks
that the
first

THE SHRINE OF AMARNATH
one summer day, and had entered the
cave to find themselves, before the unmelting ice, in the presence of the Lord He always said too that the Himself.
grace of

Amarnath had been granted
not to die
till

to

him

there,

he

himself

And to me he said should give consent. "You do not now understand. But you
have made the pilgrimage, and it will Causes must bring go on working. You will understand better their effects.
afterwards.

The

effects will

come."

was the road by which How we returned next morning to Pahlgam
beautiful

;

\Ve struck tents that night immediately on our return to them, and camped later
for

the

night in a

snowy pass a whole

stage further on.

We paid a coolie a few
had been quite un-

annas here, to push on with a letter, but when we actually arrived next after-noon

we found
*

that this

necessary, for all morning long, relays of pilgrims had been passing the tents, and dropping in, in the most friendly

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
manner, to give the others news of us, and our impending arrival. In the morning, we were up and on the way
long before dawn. before us, while the
behind,

As the sun rose moon went down
the

we passed above
which about

Lake

of

Death, into

forty

pilgrims

had been hurried one year, by an ava lanche which their hymns had started. After this we came to the tiny goat-path

down the we were

face of a steep

cliff,

by which
the
little

able

to

shorten

return
better

journey so much.

This was

than a scramble, and everyone had per At the bottom, force to do it on foot.
the villagers had something like break fast ready. Fires were burning, chapatties
baking, and tea ready to oe served out. From this time on, parties of pilgrims would leave the main body at each

ways, and the feeling of solidarity that had grown up amongst us
parting of the
all

throughout the journey became gra
less.

dually less and

152

THE SHRINE Or AMARNAT1I
That evening on the
knoll

above

Pahlgam, when a great fire of pinc-i was lighted, and dhurries spread we
sat

all

and

talked.

Our

friend, the

Naked

Swami, joined us and we had plenty of fun and nonsense, but presently, when
all

had gone save our own

little

party,

we

sat on, with the great

moon

overhead,

and the towering snows, and rushing And river, and the mountain-pines.
the

Swami

talked of Siva, and the

Cave
August 8th

and the great verge of vision. We started for Islamabad next day, and on Monday morning as we sat- at
breakfast,

we were towed

safely

into

Srinagar.

I
I

153

CHAPTER
The
the

XI
JOURNEY.
p^rty
c

AT SRINAGAR OH THE RETURN
Persons
:

Swami Vivekananda, and a

Europeans, amongst

whom
*

were Dhira Mata

Steady

Mother."

One whose name wa

Jaya
Place
:

and Nivedita.
Srinagar.

Kashmir

Time

:

August Qth to August I3th.

August 9th.

At
talking

this

time the Master was always
us.

of leaving

And when
is

I

find the entry

"The

River
pure
it
I

pure that
goes,"

flows,
I

the

monk

is

that

know

exactly

what
"

means
always
to

the
sc

passionate outcry much better when

am
have

I

undergo

4

hardships and beg my bread," the longing for freedom and the touch of the

common

the picture of himsel faaking a long circuit of the country or foot, and meeting us again at Baramulh
people,
for the

journey home.
154

A T SR/NA GA R ON THE RE TURN JO URNE Y
His family of boat-people,

whom

he

had staunchly befriended through two Afterwards he seasons, left us to-day.

would refer to the whole incident of
their connection with

him

as proof that

even charity and patience could go too
far.

was evening, and we all went out On the return he to pay some visit. called his disciple Nivedita to walk His talk with him across the fields. was all about the work and his inten
It

August ioth

tions in

it.

He

spoke of the inclusiveof the country of his
in

ness of his

conception
;

and
as

its

religions

own

distinction

being solely
faith

his desire to

make

Hinduism
ary
;

active, aggressive, a mission

of

*

dont-touch-ism

as the

Then he only thing he repudiated. talked with depth of feeling of the
gigantic
\vTio

spirituality

of

many

of those

were most orthodox.
her hold

India

wan
let
life

ted practicality, but she
ef>

must never

on the old meditative
155

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
"To be as deep as the ocean and as broad as the Sky Sri Ramakrishna has said, was the ideal. But

for that.

profound inner life in the soul encased within orthodoxy, is the result of an accidental not an essential associa
this
tion.

ourselves right here, the world will be right, for are we not all
"And

if

we set

one
on

?"

"Rctmakrishna

Paramahamsa was

alive to

depths of his being, yet the outer plane he was perfectly
the

active

and

capable."

And
of the
"My

then

of that

critical

question

worship of
life
is

his

own

Master,

own
of

guided by the enthu

great personality, but others will decide for themselves how far
siasm,
that
this
is

true

for

them.
to

Inspiration

is

not

filtered

out

the world through
for the

one man.
August nth

There was occasion

this

day

Swami

to

rebuke a member

of

th is

It was party for practising palmistry. a thing he said that everyone desired,

156

A T SRINAGAR
yet
all

ON THE RETURN JOURNE Y

India despised and hated. Yes, he said, in reply to a little special plead ing, even of character-reading- he dis
"To tell you the truth I approved. should have thought even your Incar

nation
ciples

more honest if He and His dis had not performed miracles.
for

Buddha unfrocked a monk
Later,

doing
to

it."

talking on the subject

which

he had now transferred his attention, he

spoke with horror of the display of the least of it as sure to bring a terrible reflex.

The Swami had now taken
min cook.

a Brah-

August i2tK and 13th.

Very touching had been the arguments of the Amarnath sAd/ins against his willingness to let even a Mussalm&n cook for him. "Not in
the

land

of

Sikhs,

they had said,
sented.

Swamiji and he had at last con
he was wor

at least

:"

But

for the present
little

shipping his
child as

Mohammedan
idea of

boatlovfc

Uma.

Her whole

was
mir,

service,

she,

and the day he left Kash tiny one, was fain to carry a
157

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
tray of apples for

him

all

the

way

to the

tonga
the

herself.

He

never forgot her,
indifferent at
itself

though he seemed quite
time.

In

Kashmir

he was

fond of recalling the time when she saw a blue flower on the towing path and
sitting
this

down

before
that,

it,

and striking

it

way and

"was

alone with tha

flower for twenty

minutes."

There was a piece of land by the river-side on which grew three chennaars,
towards which
our

thoughts

turned

with peculiar love at this time. For the Maharajah was anxious to give it
to Swamiji,

and we

all

centre

of

work

in

pictured it as a the future-work

which should
4<

the great idea of by the people, for the people, as a joy
realise

to

worker and
In

to

served."

view of Indian feeling about a homestead blessed by women, it had

been suggested that we should go annex the site, by camping there
while.

aivd for a

One

of

our party moreover had
158

A T SRINAGAR ON THE RETURN JOURNE Y
a personal wish for special quiet at this So it was decided that we should
establish

time.

a

women
confer

s

math
it

,

as

it

were,

before the

the

Maharajah
to

should

require

land,
this

on the Swami.

was possible because the spot was one of the minor camping grounds
used by Europeans.

And

159

CHAPTER
Persons:

XII

THE CAMP UNDER THE CHENNAARS.
The Swami Vivekananda, and
ropeans,

a party of

Eu

amongst whom were Dhirfi Mata the Steady Mother One whose name wa
;

Jay a
t

;

and Niveditu.
Srinagar.
to

Place

:

Kashmir

Time /August

1 4th

September 2Oth.

August 14th
Sept. 3rd.

was Sunday morning and next afternoon the Swami was prevailed on
It

to

come up to tea with us, in order meet a European guest, who seemed
be interested
in the
little

to

to

He

had been

subject of Vedanta. inclined to concern

himself with
his real

the
in

matter,

and

I

think

motive

accepting, was pro

bably to afford his

too-eager disciples

an

opportunity of convincing them selves of the utter futility of all such

attempts as
infinite

this.

pains

with
his

Certainly he tobk the enquirer and
trouble

as

certainly

was wasted.

1

60

THE CAMP UNDER THE CHENNAARS
I

remember

his
I

saying,

amongst other
a law

things,

"How

wish

could
able
free.

be broken.
to

break a

we were really should be law we
If

breaking the law, is real ly only another way of keeping Then he tried to explain a little of the
call
it."

What you

super-conscious
fell

life.

But

his

words
September

on ears that could not hear.

On Tuesday
our
little

he came once more to
to the
it

camp
the end,

mid-day

meal.

Towards
ly

began

to rain heavi

enough

to prevent his return,
"History

and he

took up
talk of

Tod s
Meenl
ideas

of

Rajasthan"

which was lying near, and drifted into
Bai.
"Two-thirds

of the
said,

national

now

in

Bengal,"

he

have been gathered from this book." But the episode of Meenl B3,i, the queen

who would
.
>

not

wander the Krishna, was always his favourite, even in Tod. He talked of how she preached

be queen, but would world with the lovers of

submission, prayerfulness, and service to
161
1 1

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
all in

contrast to
to

Chaitanya,

who

prea

ched love

the

Name

of God,

and

mercy one of

to

all.

Meer& B&i was always

his great patronesses.

He

would
con
of

put into her story

many
the

threads with

which one
nections,

is

now

familiar in other

such

as

conversion

two great robbers, and the end by an image of Krishna opening and swal heard him on one I lowing her up.
occasion
of
I

recite

and
the

translate
I

one
wish
but
it

her
could

songs to a woman.

remember
cling

whole,

tegan,

in his
it,

rendering, with the words,
to
it,

Cling to
Brother,"

cling
"If

to

it,

and ended with

Aunka

and Bunka
the
fell

the robber brothers, Sujana

butcher,

and the courtesan, who

playfully taught name of the

her parrot to repeat the

Lord

Krishna
all."

were

Again ^1 hope for heard him tell that marvellous tale have of Meera B&i, in which on reaching Brind^van, she sent for a certain famous
saved, there
is

162

THE CAMP UNDER THE CHENNAARS
s&dhu.*
that

He refused to

go,

on the ground

woman might

not see

men

in

Brin-

had happened three times, Meer3, Bai went to him herself say ing that she had not known that there
ddvan.
this

When

were such beings as men there, she had supposed that Krishna alone existed.

And when
she
the words

she saw the astonished sddku
herself completely,

unveiled

with

"Fool,

Man

?"

And

do you call yourself a as he fell prostrate before

her with a cry of awe, she blessed as a mother blesses her child.

him

Today
talk of

the

Swami passed on
the

to the

Akbar, and sang us a song of
poet-laureate
of the

Tana Sena, Emperor
"Seated

on the throne, a god amongst men,
the

Thou

Emperor

of Delhi

:

Blessed was the hour the minute,
the second,
*Sanatana, the famous Sannyasin disciple of Sri Chaitanya
of Bengal,
of

who
to

Beng^

gave up his office of minister become a religious devotee.
1

to

the

Nawab

6.?

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS

When

thou ascendest the throne,

O

God amongst men, Thou the Lord of Delhi.
Long- live thy crown, thy sceptre,
thy throne,

O

God amongst men, Thou Emperor of Delhi
always, son of Humayoon,

:

Live long, and remain awakened

O

Joy of the sun, God amongst men, Thou, the Emperor of Delhi
!"

Then
hero"

the talk passed to

"our

national

Prot^p Singh,

who never

could

be brought to submission.

Once indeed

he was tempted to give in, at that moment when, having fled from Cheetore, and the queen herself having cooked
evening meal, a hungry cat swooped down on that cake of bread which was the children s portion, and
the scanty
th*3

King

of

Mewar

heard his babies

Then, indeed, the strong cry for food. The prosheart of the man failed him.
164

THE CAMP UNDER THE CHENNAARS
pect of ease and relief tempted him. And for a moment he thought of ceasing from the unequal conflict, and sending
his alliance to

The

Akbar, only for an instant. Eternal Will protects its own. Even
picture passed

as the

before his mind,

there appeared a messenger, with those despatches from a famous Rajput chief,
that said

There

is

but one

left

amongst

us who has kept his blood free from admixture with the alien. Let it never

be said that his head has touched the
"

dust.
in

And
loner
faith,

the soul

the

breath

of Protap of courage

drew and

renewed
the

country

of

and he arose and swept its foes, and made his
tale

own way back to Oodeypore. Then there was the wonderful

of the virgin princess Krishna Kumari, whose hand was sought by various royal
suitors at once.

And when

three armies

were

at the gate, her father could

think

of nothing better than to give her poison. The task was entrusted to her uncle,and

165

NOTES OF SOME WANDERINGS
he entered her room as she lay asleep to do it. *But at the sight of her beauty

and youth, remembering her too as a baby, the soldier s heart failed him, and he could not perform his task. But she

was awakened by some sound, and being told what was proposed, stretched out
her hand for the cup, and drank the And so on, and so poison with a smile.
on.
this
Sept, 20th.

For the

stories of

Rajput heroes

in

kind are endless.
Saturday, the

On

Swami and he whose
to the

name was Soong, went

Dahl Lake, to be the guests of the American consul and his wife for a couple of days. They
returned on Monday, and on Tuesday, the Swami came up to the new Math,
as

we

called

it,

and had

his boat

moved

close

us

by ours, so that he could be with for a few days, before leaving for

Ganderbal.

1

66

CONCLUDING WORDS OF THE EDITOR.
From Ganderbal
the

Swami

returned

by the

first

week of October and announced
for

his intention of leaving

the

plains

in

a few days for urgent reasons.

The

European party had already made plans
principal
cities

to visit the

of Northern India e.g. Lahore, Delhi,
as the winter
set in.

Agra
ties

etc.,

as soon
to

So both par
to Lahore.

decided
here

return

together

and came
party

From

the

Swami and
rest

his

returned to

Calcutta

leaving the

to

carry out their plans for

sight-seeing in Northern India.

r\

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