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formed a part of Hindu society itself and as such were held to be debarred from crossing the seas. And her wandering Sadhus. had . being citizens herself as a and householders. the Brahmins. the Swami Viveka- nanda stood on the platform of the Parliament of Religions in the Chicago Exhibition of 1893.A WORD TO WESTERN READERS. yellow-clad Sannyasin. Her professional teachers. as much above the born Brahmin in authority. as saint or incarnation may be simply not thought of putting their freedom to such use. Nor did the Swami Vivekananda priest above or scholar. in the highest cases. as a Missions. FROM dhist the close of the era until of the Bud- the day when. Hinduism had not thought of missionary faith. who are.

thereafter. Pacific Ocean. the impelling force that drove him out to foreign lands was the great personality of One at whose feet he had sat. Hinduism itself formed the subject of the . and frankness he was welcomed. and whose life he had shared. and characteristic of. Thus. for the first time in history. as in that of the Buddhist missionaries. In his case. that formed the burden of his teachideas of the . Yet. by the eargerness and faith of a few disciples in And with American hospitality Madras. it was Chicago those elements which were common to. for many years. Hindus" were his and ing. in the West. he gave the "The religious message of no limited sect. orthodox Hinduism in all its parts. theme at similarly.A WORD TO WESTERN READERS appear at the doors of Chicago with any He had been sent across the credentials. and accorded an opportunity of speaking. he spoke of no personal teacher. as he might have wandered from one Indian village to another.

and a month or in London. he began teaching In September he to England. in America until when he came to found his way so later. -Europe for the first time. .A WORD TO WESTERN READERS generalisations highest order. of a Hindu mind of the The Swami remained August of the year 1895.

that was surely the teachings to my good though the I heard of my in Master. perience I have it. on both the occasions of his visits England. 1895. as have stirred in it recalling it does in mine. came early days of For as the fruit of this want of ex1898.way London indeed. the occasion must his mind. way. the first saw him. IN It is LONDON. and yet fortune. city.I. it strange to remember. that at each step of hisself-revelation as a personality. and highbackground. a host of associations connow. him in the in private life. an Eastern teacher in an Eastern world. yet knew until little I or nothing of India. my Master my memory against his proper of Indian forest. nected with his own sun-steeped land. to 1895 an<^ 1896. Swami I Vivekananda. The . stands out in Even time I in far a.

as a teacher. facing a halfing room. and he sat amongst us. and as he answered question after question. breaking now and then into the chanting of some Sanskrit text in illustration have appeared of his reply. or on the group of hearers gathered at sundown round the Sadhu who sits side beside the well. Only this first time we were but friends.THE SWAMIIN LONDON -time ber. while twilight passed into darkness. was a cold Sunday afternoon in Novemand the place. intimate many in his crimson of us. ed were put with formality by members of in such simple fashion. England Later. only as a curious variant upon the Indian garden. as one . it is true. Never again in did I see the Swami. larger audiences. he was alor the questions he answerways lecturing. the scene must to him. of listeners. or under the tree outthe village-bounds. with the fire on the hearth behind him. robe and girdle. fifteen or sixteen guests. a West-end draw- circle But he was seated.

That afternoon But never verses to is now ten years ago. at once so reminiscent of. in reply tosome enquiry that he was in the West. the Gregorian music of our own churches. He was quite question. be forgotten are the Sanskrit that he chanted for us. that one sees on the !" Shiva faces of those who live much in meditation. in those wonderful Eastern tones. with a curious of saying now and again "Shiva ! and wearing that look of mingled gentleness and loftiness. as they were already exchanging the commodities of the market. fragments only of the talk come back to me. that look. when nations were to exchange their ideals. that Raphael has painted for us. because he believed that the time had come. willing to answer a personal and readily explained. From this point onHe was elucidatwards. on the brow of the Sistine Child.THE SWAMf IN LONDON habit bringing us news from a far land. the talk was easy. and yet so different from. and. perhaps. .

picturing the various sense-impressions as but so many different modes of the manifestation of One. And he told us." He told us that love was recognised in Hinduism as in Christianity. and he quoted from the Gita and then translated into English: "All these are threaded upon Me. "the Buddhists accepted the report of the senses. called the Self. whose fundamental suspicion as to . as pearls upon a string. as the highest religious emotion. leading me during the following winter to quite new lines of observation.THE SWAMI IN LONDON ing the idea of the Eastern Pantheism. a thing that struck me very much. Buddhism must have in strong contrast with modern agnos- ticism. and I remember the quiet words. He was describing the difference between Buddhism and Hinduism. that both the mind and the body were regard- ed by Hindus as moved and dominated by a third." been In this respect then.

" in was 8 . know he dwelt I paths of the soul. by the religious people .THE SWAM1 IN LONDON the subjective illusion of the senses.not associated in India with the highest kind of religion and the : statement that the desire to reach Heaven that country regarded. but it is I terrible to die there. Bhakti. "as a little vulgar. and therefore of all inference would surely bring it more into line with Hinduism. It is well to be born in a church." on sects. There was a word to the effect that priests and temples were . a while on the infinite power of man. And he declared the one message of all religions to lie in the call to Renunciation. I was probably touched upon imagine that he spoke Jnana. "realisation" instead. I remember that he objected insisting to the word "faith. think that the doctrine of Re-incarnation in this talk. and speaking of " he quoted an Indian " proverb. as the three for of Karma.

' the ultimate futility of the world. and he hastened to anticipate our opposition. "You will say/' he said. Was is this meaning In that how one *o reconcile it with the fact that the service . as I suppose. He had. stated the ideal. "that this does not benefit society. in the sense that I have never been quite sure of having fully understood. I remember very clearly that I heard him use that word "society" for the first time that afternoon. which it apparent conflict with our Western conception of the service of huFor manity. I understood him to mean 'humanity' by 'society.THE SWAM/ IN LONDON He brought must have made some statement of into the ideal of the freedom of the soul. as the goal of the individual. it." At the time. But before this objection can be admitted you will first have to prove that the maintenance of society is an object in itself. and therefore of the his and to be preaching work done ? to aid case.

" he said. our idea of the ? church touched on the question of his own position. with theocratic and meaning something which includes amongst other things." 10 . as a wandering teacher. coloured." prophesied developments then He certain in religious in the much vogue West would money. Samaj. owing declared that "Man proceeds from truth to truth. it.' again. and expressed to He the religious Indian diffidence with regard as some or. organisation.' "We that believe. and standing aside to give value ? Or 'society. only a faulty translation of the curious Eastern word word associations. as that is. speedily die. and not from error to love of And he to truth. "that organisation always breeds new evils.THM SWAMI Or was he merely was his IN LONDON ?' of humanity was always his whole hope stating an it its full idea. one expresses ends in 'with regard to a faith that a church.

were equally forth-shinings of the here he quoted that greatest : since all One. for the I firm establishment of the truth. the equal truth of all and the impossibility for us. criticising fferent points of view. for the destruction of the evil. AGAIN AND AGAIN. of any of the Divine Incarnations. the least uncoventional of the group in matters The of belief. / good." AM BORN We belief.THE SWAMI IN LONDON This was indeed the master-thought di- which he continually approached from religions. with the historic name. we who had come were not very orthodox. and she had been a friend and 1 1 . was. of all And verses of the Gita "Whenever reli- gion decays and irreligion prevails. with such exquisiteness of courtesy. who sat on the Swami's left. as he was called time. and took the lead in questioning him. or open to to meet the Hindir in Yogi. perhaps. then I For the protection of the manifest Myself. London at that white-haired lady.

All these things had been For my own part. it dawned on 12 . faith. however." was our accusation. as I now think. been singled out for the afternoon's hospitaon the very score of our unwillingness lity. said before. I incline to think. Our and one or two others were interested those modern movements which have made of an extended psychology the centre of a But most of us had.THE SWAMI IN LONDON disciple of Frederick liostess in Denison Maurice. to believe. can. Only this habit. "It was not new. as one by one we spoke with our host and hostess with which before leaving. furnish any excuse for the coldness and pride we al! gave our private verdicts on the speaker at the end of our visit. for the difficulty of convincing us of the credibility of religious propaganda in general. born of the constant ill- need of protecting the judgment against considered enthusiasm. as I went about the tasks of that week.

yet fallen to lot to had never before meet with a thinker who^ my in one short hour had been able to express all that I had hitherto regarded as highest and the best. while he was still in-. And as I read over the notes of those two lectures now. that I can never sufficiently regret. For there was a quality of blindness in the attitude I presented to my Master.THE SWAMI IN LONDON me it slowly that it was not only ungenerous. When he said . repetition. I portunities that therefore took the only two 'opremained to me. London. grows and deepens with similarly. of hearing Swami lecture. The feeling that great music its wakes in us. was also unjust. It occurred to me that though each separate dictum might find fellow its echo or its amongst things it already heard or already thought. to dismiss in such fashion the message of a new mind and a strange culture. they seem to me much more wonderful than they did then.

is like for a cobweb and minds mind is one as well as many" 'iny : he was in it. on the day when in the landed in India. interested simply talking beyond I noted what he said. one was . even year. There were many points Swami's teachings of which one could see the truth The doctrine that while no religion at once. it. I had listened to the following a season's lectures I even. was this but could pass it. When he said that 'God. no less judgment upon statement much less accept And describes more in or -accurately the whole of my relation to his system of teaching.awed and touched by the beauty of the .THE SWAMI IN LONDON "The universe -are the spiders . when . yet were equally true in a very real way. comprehension. was one that commanded the immediate assent of some of us. perhaps. seen through the mists of sense became Personal. was -all true in the way commonly claimed. really Impersonal.

for one. But was his character to which I had thus done obeisance. left The I time Swami England. viewed with system suspicion. But his as a whole. When he said that the spirit behind an act was more powerful than the act itself. As a religious teacher.THE SWAMI IN LONDON thought. as forming only another of those nism. which from the pain and humiliation of spirit that such experiences involve. or when he commended vegetaria- was possible to experiment. I. when came. And one shrinks cending and rejecting. and desired to make my- servant of his love for his own people. before the I addressed him as " Master." fibre of the self the had recognised the heroic man. nothing for a in that system if would claim him moment. he found . It is difficult at this point to be sufficiently explicit. it theologies if a man should begin he would surely end by transby accepting. saw that although he had a system of I it thought to offer.

which was well known at the time to the rest of the class.THE SWAMI IN LONDON that truth led elsewhere. dream of the immense distance which I was afterwards to see. as between his development and that of any other thinker or man of genius whom of I could name. and claiming that she had been able to accept every statement she had ever heard him make. The Swami paid long afterwards. Referring to this scepticism mine. till I had had experienauthenticated did ces that I them. cast in my lot with the final inwardly justification of the things he came to say. I studied his teaching sufficiently to become convinced of its coherence. I became his disciple.. a more fortunate disciple. but never. in the Swami's presence. though deeply attracted his personality. Nor did by I at that time. was teasing me. And to the extent that this recognition implies. For the rest. little or no attention to the conversation 16 .

THE PERSONIFICATION OF GOD at the time. stand from those first discourses. and had desired to study as the God Father. every inch of the way Every ! convince inch of the way !" One out tianity or two impressions. But value as an idea. for And I had been unable to follow want of material of comparison here was one who told us of no less however. founded on similar personifications of the divine idea . For I suspected that such a conception would have its own effect its truth on the character and perhaps on the lisation tion. . but afterwards he took a quiet moment to say ''Let none regret that ! they were difficult to Master that I for six know I fought my with the result long years. Chris- had once meant to me the realiI sation of had mourned over my own loss of faith long in this symbolism. This ques- up. however. than five systems of worship. civi- of those who held it. apart from its objective or untruth.

they are Thine ! ! Thy child !" And again. saint who ran after a with the vessels he had dropped in his terror at being discovered. 18 . we heard how he described the bite of a cobra. further. when at nightfall he recovered. by messenger came to me from the There was the inference. and taken it always to be water. first time. There was the for instance.FIRST VISIT TO LONDON He I preached a religion which began with ! the classification of religious ideas was very much struck. as well as the dignity." A seen it. again. of the same saint. The very newness the turn metaphors. and cast them all at his feet. by the strangeness. "O Lord. acquisition. and of made them an tale. crying. I knew not that Thou wast there Pardon me Take them. of the thief. Fifteen days he had *' saying Beloved. of of the Indian conceptions which I some now of heard of for the of these thought. that the Swami himself had drawn from the mirage in the desert.

as any poor making an evangelical preacher. as clearly an apostle. seemed an education in to But there was a third element Swami's the unexpectedness teaching. the philosophy that could draw some parallel between this journey it in the desert and life. like some other propounders of advanced ideas whom I had heard even from the pulpit. It was by no means his intention to set forth dainty dishes of poetry and intellectuality for the enjoyment of the rich and idle classes. he might see it fifteen days.INDIAN RELIGIOUS CONCEPTS But now that he had been it thirsty it and found to be unreal. or Salvation Army officer. calling . to his own thinking at least. whose He was. It was easy occasioned me some surprise. again for but always henceforth he would know to be false. to see that he was no mere lecturer. were such as understand. The experience to which such achievements had been possible. appeal to men.

he with a sudden change of tone. if a tiger should suddenly appear before them in the street. and no more a reality to its elucidator than the doctrine that when a man steals our coat we should give to him our cloak also. "But suppose". "suppose there were a baby in the path of the tiger ! Where would your mouth place be then ? At his any one of you I am sure of it.FIRST VISIT TO LONDON on the world to enter into the kingdom And yet he took his stand on of God. then. were the things I remem20 ." These. what was noblest and best in us. I was not thinking of his announcement that sin I was only an evil dream. was The thing that I found to ourselves. said. and he spoke of their terror and their flight. His audience was composed for the most part of fashionable young mothers. astonishing was a certain illustration urged by him. knew that such a theory might merely be part of a cumbrous system of theology.

2! . when he had left England. was not of that which was strongest and finest. for America. the great newness and interest of the thought he had brought to us and thirdly. second.INDIAN RELIGIOUS CONCEPTS bered and pondered over. and in any way dependent on the in meaner elements man. concerning the Swami. the breadth of his religious culture . that winter. the fact that his call was sounded in the name intellectual . first.

Rome. and H. and arrived at Colombo. living with his good friend. he travelled in France. Many of the lectures which he gave during the year 1896.II. and again. Mr. in April year following. Sturdy. In December. E. left for India. F. The Swami the IN London. on January the i5th. Muller. with some of by way of in Ceylon. 1897. and taught at the house where he was continuously. and September. and Miss friends. Germany and Switzerland. George's Road. August. with his Mrs. he his disciples. Mr. During class- July. T. THE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA LONDON 1896. in a large room near Victoria Street. in S. have since been pub22 . Sevier. of after the returned to summer holidays.

to Indian thinking. underHe never quoted anything lies all creeds. call or as ' I would to them. specific He was deeply convinced of the need for Indian thought. nor at any after-time. and in them. in public. He had come his message. nor spoke in terms of any part of Hindu mythology. freely enough like to the Indian sects.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON' lished. and he called upon us to realise the truth of his gospel for ourselves. all the world may read and the interpretation by which he sought to make it clear. did I ever hear him advocate to his audience any He would refer specialised form of religion. his own Master. and the Bhagavad mentioned Gita. the Upanishads. And he never. ' churches. But he never preached anything but that philosophy which. to us as a missionary of the Hindu belief in the Immanent God. but the Vedas. by way of illustration of what he had to say. Neither then. in order to enable the religious consciousness of the West to welcome .

" be brought near. and longer passage. and God !" In another. describes the growth of the religious idea. The salvation of depends on a " Europe he ex. rationalistic religion. yet without being degraded or degenerated. in the God of till has come Heaven bethe comes the God Nature. until. is ! right There but I One. He felt lation what was wanted was a formuof faith which could hold its adherents that " fearless of truth. and far beyond This has to attracting us all towards it. call it Only he calls that One Matter. God in . far At first. he and the is it. materialist many is one of his lectures " The times repeated. relation of its various forms to one another. in the course of and again. and to enable it also to survive that destruction of local mythologies which is an inevitable result of all world-consolidations.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON and assimilate the discoveries of modern science. off." he says. claims. when it closer and closer. ''the goal outside Nature.

and the God who is Nature. O Man Thou part. in trying to in which presence of a struggle to express an idea is clearly apprehended. becomes the God within this temple of the body.LECTURES ON MA YA Nature becomes the God who is Nature. art the sages is ! have sought in our own hearts. in He whom these places. Thus all it reaches the last words can teach. of the is reading carefully. He that always considered. The . Throughout the in question we feel that we are chapters he undertook. art He!" Thou He. and the God of it becomes soul dwelling in the temple of the body the temple itself. that only by an idea can of the task be formed difficulty render the conception in modern English. greatest this for his own in his intellectual achievement his during lectures period had consisted and it on these Maya. becomes the man. in a language is which not a fit vehicle for it.

therefore we. and the word went through many transformations. milestone in the series of conceptions that finally determined its meaning is found " Because we talk in in the text. and because we are running after desires. and because we are satisfied with the things of the senses.SECOND word to is VISIT TO LONDON it wrongly understood. the ruler of this Maya. ' mean Originally ' meant Indra through something like magic." But this " A meaning was subsequently dropped. quotation from the Svetasvatara " Know Nature to be Maya. what we are." says the speaker. vain." But that these words are not intended as 26 . says the Swami. as it were. cover this reality with a mist" Finally the word is seen to have assumed its ultimate meaning in the Upanishad. as the " Lord Himself. and what we see around us." The Maya of the " in its latest Vedanta. is a simple statement of facts development. And the mind. as his Maya assumed various forms. 'delusion'.

LECTURES ON MA YA a definition will be seen by anyone who for reads the whole of the lectures on himself. a statement of fact. yet know anything about this at the same time we cannot To walk in say that we do not know. but also describes self.contradic- the tortuous. passing all our lives in a haze. as in many other of his interpretations. rather than 27 . and tory character of that knowledge. erroneous. This is the Universe". that an Indian word is incapable of exact rendering into English. we do not Universe. and that the only way of arriving at an understanding of it is to try to catch the conception is which the speaker striving to express. that "that this world is says the a Tantalus' hell. It is Maya there evident that the word does known through not simply refer to the Universe as the senses. half waking. We see here." " This is Swami. half sleeping. not a theory. This is the fate of all sense knowledge. this is the fate of every one of us. the midst of a dream.

know That to be the Lord Him- self!" In these side. as it were. thus meant that half-unreal shimmering. 28 . and through the mind as dependent on the senses. The " Maya was bondage" condition of absorption in in the Eastern sense.SECOND here or there. placed side by the whole theology of Hindu- ism. *'a question always of being and becoming. complexity. At the is same time "And That by which all this pervaded. out of the one into the other. All other teachings and ideas -are subordinated to these two. two conceptions. VISIT TO LONDON to fasten the attention on a sentence or two is By Maya elusive. in faction. no satis- no ultimate certainty. half-real is which there no rest. and the gradual transfer -ence of the centre of gravity. of which we become aware through the senses. we have West." But such growth must presuppose the two facts. Religion was a matter of the growth of the individual. out of Maya into fundamental the Self. as presented in the by the Swami Vivekananda.

by seeking enjoyment.RENUNCIATION OR CONQUEST To have broken that bondage was "freedom" or Mukti. All have striven to make man strong death rather than for that the Where I think Swami perhaps differed somewhat from other teachers was in his acceptance of every kind of mastery as a form of renunciation. it was For he ! ' pointed out that was by 29 renunciation. the Swami was. And yet in truth I . and into have called a halt in the quest for pleasure. All for life. Indian religions. have sought to turn life a battlefield rather than a ball-room. all only echoing what had been the burden of For all religions. think that ' conquer much more characteristic of him. The path for the would-be breaker of bondage must always not be by seeking for for renunciation. as he said himself. told Towards the end of his life I him that 'renunciation' was the only word I had ever heard from his lips. . In this matter. other. or even Nii'vana.

was you ''Forgive. was the power that deterted to a given all. And "when an doubt- because for strength. would turn the other cheek. and character alone. that Stephenson. however. Resistance was to his mind the duty of the citizen. 30 . only a coward. And he preached that character. to his thinking. the supreme achievement. that the science of medicine pointed out represented as of He strong a concentration man's required mind for upon healing as would be a cure by prayer or by thought. also can bring legions of angels to easy victory. this. He made us feel that all study was an austerity direc- above end of knowledge. and for instance. effort. by choosing refusing ease. non-resistance of all the monk." While victory was still ful. invented the steam-engine." he said. by by sustained and determined absorption in hard problems toil through lonely hours. mined the permanence of a religious wave.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON that is to say.

"And so. and the many as unreal ?" he was asked. supremefull ly sane. while Orthodox Hinduism regards the One as the Real. fact remains that to these teachers. had its Years afterwards. "And what Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and I have added to this is. some one approached him with a question as to the general history of the development of Indian ideas on these "Did Buddha teach that the many subjects. that the Many and the One are the .THE REAL AND THE UNREAL One reads the same lesson in his Master's story of the boy who for twenty years worked to aquire the power to walk on water. "you have given twenty \ j years of effort to doing that for which others give the ferryman a penny !" The lad might/ have answered that no ferryman could give his passengers what he had acquired by But the twenty years of patient striving. in Paris." answered the Swami. was real and the ego unreal. "Yes." said a saint. the world's art of navigation own value and its proper place.

and regarded as but one : amongst many sweet songs of the world and like the same strain when the listener .SECOND VISIT TO LONDON same Reality. "Remember! the message of India is always 'Not the soul for Nature. but Nature for the soul T And this was indeed the organ-note. he stood in our midst as. the apostle of the inner life. that began gradually all to make itself heard through things the intellectual interest of the he discussed. the prophet of the subordination of the "Remember!" objective to the subjective. heard revealed. perceived by the same mind at different times and in different attitudes. the deep fundamental vibration." Gifted to an extraordinary degree with a living utterance of metaphysic. drawing always upon a ful classical literature of wonder- depth and profundity. far away on the banks of some river in the hour of dawn. he said once to a disciple. before all. and the point of view he Like the sound of the flute. as it were.

sovereign mastery. has become himself the player may have seemed to some who heard him life between the long.THE LIFE OF THE SOUL. A free. was making itself directly temptation that had to be fought against was the impulse to go away. It that the word occurred in his teachings before. Some dispute occurred in the course of a question-class. came the exaltation of renunciation. and at last. An uttered occasion came. the difference of the soul in Western And with this thinking and in Eastern. when this was with great force. undimensioned. has drawn nearer and nearer. It was not. with his whole mind on the music. and bind upon oneself intellectual shackles not to be borne. said the 33 . any oftener than it had done was rather that the reality of that in its life. felt. "What the world wants to-day". in its in order to be able to enter life fulness upon the of poverty call and silence. perhaps.

"What the world wants to-day.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. and say that they possess nothingWho will go?" He had risen but God. in wants is character. ! Awake. and stood looking begging some of "Why should one fear?" if even now. what do our lives matter ?" the world "What he says. is twenty men and women who can dare to stand in the street yonder." as he called it. to his feet by this time. true. I can hear again the thunderous "If this is conviction. what else could matter? If it is not true. evidently taking sudden possession of him." a letter written at this time to a member less. of his class. Swami. life is "The world is in need selftell of those whose one burning love That love will make every word is like a thunder-bolt. in tones of which. awake. Can you 34 . then. great burning in souls The world sleep ?" misery. the determination to "throw a bomb. round his audience as them And to join him.

the words of none surely the Lion of Islam. Many have heard. the love expressed made aid successful. but by the depth of renunciation that speaks in it. " Thy place in life is 35 . when the same utterance would pass by unheeded. I remember how new to myself at that it time was this Indian idea that ter that was charac- that made a truth tell. and after some time I came to the conclusion that it was.THE SPIRIT BEHIND THE WORD. Was this true ? I felt that the question might be tested by experience. 'Consider the lilies. and without emotion. a stronger instance of this fact than a certain saying that is recorded from the careless. not by the spell of its beauty. from a mind that put thought behind language. how they grow. said the Swami. A quiet word.' holds us. carried immediate weight. I do not know of the Caliph Ali. the degree of con- and constituted centration behind a saying that gave it force Thus the text its power.

as one had long thought. seeking after thee. rest from seeking after it ! until we relate them to the speaker.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. of the listener. yet at least that aspect of the One-substance which we called Matter was rather the result of that called Mind or Spirit. will. evoked more response than begun to I make was if coveries. are we able to explain the extraordinary of these simple sentences. not the must be regarded as a bye -product of the indivi36 . these psychological disled gradually to the percepthe tion that indeed one's reason could. instead of merely to the hearing. The body. power I found also that an utterance consciously directed to the mind. four times passed over in the succession to the Caliphate. never until we know how the man's whole life throbs through them. And having opposite. Therefore be thou at " But never. make no final line of demarcation as between mind and matter. than the reverse.

I I look back upon all feel that what we really entered upon in the Swami's classes was not so much an intellectual exposition. The body comes and of came thought ripening and did not complete itself for gradually But this many months. This in turn led to the a consciousness life held above matter. might conceivably disrobe and find garments. 'realisations. "do we want anything from Him ?" is We bowed to the teaching that "love always a manifestation 37 . as that time.REALISATIONS. In the meantime. as they would be called in India. or cast off the form known Till to us." echoing the Swami's great pronouncement on " immortality. in describing God as a child. governing it and free so that new skin. or. duality. a of it. as a life of new and lofty emotions. conception of the body.' We the worship of heard the exclamation. as that form itself casts off a at last I found wounded own mind my goes.

intellectual knowledge. All our pity for sickness and for poverty in this classified fashion out." and that any pang of pain or regret was therefore a mark of selfishness and physicality.' this and 'love. to remember sense of surprise with which. holding ten opinion. ! It I has taken me years to find but now know. We accepted the austere even the as ' ruling that any. we listened to the decorous eastern that highest of all gifts a degree lower. give a motive that to life. differentiation. It is strange.' only the opposite was Many who the itself. slightest. and that all kinds of phy- teaching. sical welling and material help came last. of bliss. have ceased of others to believe in the creed of their felt still childhood have that at least was an end in good and to that the possibility of service remained. 38 . now the this years have passed.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. between impulse of ourselves and that others was of hatred. was spirituality.

When the Swami said. and had no key.PHYSICAL REFINEMENT IN INDIA. to our Western fanaticism and hygienic surroundings. that in train of the higher giving. the lower must needs about pure if follow. mountain-tops when he advised his hearers to keep flowers . and to enjoy the scenery. and to care much for the purity and cleansing of that " the saints had lived on " food and person. But he was preaching our own doctrine of physical refinement. as these were marks of saintliness. was Similarly. in bold consciousness of paradox. we came up against a closed door. we did not understand enough in fact to connect the two extremes. as it would be formulated in India. Here indeed. in the And is it not true that until we West have succeeded in cleansing the slums of our great cities.and incense in their worship-rooms. air opposed the stern teaching of indifference to the world. our fastidiousness is very like the self-worship of the privileged ? 39 .

A affairs like fate awaited our admiration for such saints as knew with dence. and form what may be regarded as the kindergarten of The idea that one country might best advance itself by learning to appreciate those ideals of order and responsibility which formed the glory of another the soul. We were learning chapter chapter great language which was to make it easy for us to hold communion with the ends of the earth. he faltered. nay contemptuous and things this intolerant the the world.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. how to order their success worldly conspicuous spirituality and pruof. True of was This In indifferent to. after of a We gathered no confusion as to those questions which concern the life of citizenship and domestic virtue. We were the understood clearly enough that these ideals of sainthood only. message giving it. Swami never never mitigated. 40 . The highest spirituality cannot tolerate the world.

In one of the volumes of the English transof the 'Jataka Birth-Tales'. highly organised. bishops. there lation a occur over and over again the words 'when man has come to that place where he dreads 41 ." Did we. ragged and God-intoxicated of the East? Yet we had to adbeggars mit that even in the West. those who know the land of Meera Bae and Chaitanya. when the flame with a few of spirituality it had blazed suddenly had taken their form. and of abbots. can hardly resist the impulse to clothe with the yellow garb the memory of S. Francis of Assissi also. to its For brightest. of Tukaram and Ramanuja. devoted to the public good. At the same we were of as the eternal watchideals. was time in no wise discredited. in contradiction. word the Indian "Spirituality cannot tolerate the world.SPIRITUALITY EAST AND WEST. wellgoverned. contrast our long roll and saintly lady-abbesses. given. point to monastic orders.

some led to glimpse. Most of those who listened to him in London. But master these moods and dominating them. for the good of others. it what other thing could in matter? If is not true. this spoke more clearly in the indignant reply with which he 42 turned on some . was one that had barely been hinted at.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. what do our lives this matter?" teacher to For there was a power sum up to all the truths he himself had come teach. together with his own highest and to treat the whole as a mean bribe. were. hope. in the year 1896. if need Years after. to be flung away fearlessly. by a which little they the caught were understand eastern of to meaning of the longing of all escape from incarnation. in the words "If this is true. heaven as imick as hell" and I do not know Swami's pre- how the realisation that the sence brought could be better described.

and proclaiming the sacred mantram life to all the keeping no in secret. and go to ever. in many of . in Buddha.THE CROWN OF FREEDOM. that he might the sooner . have Does lies in it mean that the final mark of freedom ceasing from the quest of freedom ? I have found the same thing since. as if it had a special bearing on the present age. in by that I could really help a human It was the same impulse that spoke his constant repetition to some few of us. who had held himself back from Nirvana till the last grain of dust in the universe should gone in before him to salvation. of the tale of that Bodhisattva. pariahs but spending his whole work the enemy in Shishupal. But the Swami was not always entirely 43 . for instance. remark if of my own. return to him and in innumerable legends of the saints fighting against the deities. choosing to be of God. " hell for being ! also. " Of course I would commit a crime. . breaking his vow. . the Indian stories in Ramanuja.

the girl voice had sunk lower. " And then. he " shook off the mood had stolen upon Yes. we then heard the first time. lingering on into the point his of " for talk of drifted departure. final- almost that soliloquy. " thee whole ! thy faith again be. wedded and forgotten. with tears. had become dream-like. much more casual than that he turned 44 .SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. a propos of some subject that had been opened up. but a personal superstition same soul who came once as Buddha came ! afterwards as Christ. as he talked. in But him. and said. and they Go in made It peace. I have a superstition. up " Once after a lecture he came impersonal. my daughter. to a small group of us. hath was in the course of a conversation this. yes will ! saying these things have been. it is nothing. with a long breath. till the tones ly. you that the know. and of who. gave His her husband his freedom. he " of whom old Master.

when I had spoken of For the necessity of making London fair. if one's conception of the was much to world were to be made inclusive of the " of foreign peoples. whole world's cities. I could be of great help to me." and knew I had heard a call which would change plans were. to me and said. !" I as " the symbol of city the And you have this blasted to make of yours beautiful could in elicit no more. other standing call. " I have plans of my own country in which that I for the women think. but the for words echoed my ears many days. to me the mystery and tragedy of London had long been the microcosm of the human problem.PERSONAL GLIMPSES. What these did know. that I did not care to But had already gathered that there learn. and the effort of abandoning accustomed perspective was for the so great I moment -ask. 45 . And you view-point have blasted other cities !" had once been the startling reply. my not the life. I you.

if that amongst my necessary. to tell him of my He was eviwillingness to help his work. and see how determinately insular even my ideals had hitherto been. but said quietly. I learnt no more of the Indian point of view. to do this work people. and certainly the remark seems true of myself.SECOND VISIT TO LONDON. own part I will be incarnated two hundred times. that I have undertaken." is And the words stand in my own mind beside 46 ." said the Master once to me. question had our city was not beautiful. to her in India. as I look back on this period of my life. The side friend who during my life in afterwards called me England. "The English are born on an island. My But through this misunderstanding. and they are always trying to live on it. " For my dently surprised. In my eyes. been misunderstood. when both the Swami and myself were her guests for an hour. I had discovered that there was another point of view. chose a certain evening in London.

so are the words of a man. But these references to the Swami's own people were merely personal." in it. him. or not. his disciples There was neither Indian To And yet he was profoundly conscious of the historic significance On the occasion of of his own preaching. in his teachings. those which he afterwards wrote to me on will standby the eve of my departure. December the i5th. [at the Royal nor European there. or "/ remain come the elephant Even but they never go back. his disciples. his one longing seemed to be for the salvation of men from ignorance. Such were love. those who heard him never saw elsewhere. his last appearance in London. and as such were strictly subordinate. In his classes.THE MESSAGE OF THE GURU. whether you give up Vedanta. on Sunday afternoon. such pity. 1896] he pointed out the fact that history repeats 47 . Society of Painters in Watercolours. The tusks of out. whether you work for India you unto death.

for the there more distant reaping of the future.HISTORIC RELIGIONS. . and that Christianity had been ren- dered possible only by the Roman Peace. And it may well have been that the Buddhalike dignity and calm of bearing which impressed us. reaping the harvest that he had sown so well. itself. expression of his far outlook and serene conviction that so were but the would yet be seen a great army of Indian preachers in the West. and making ready in their turn new harvests.

refer- ring to his Master. 49 . THE CONFLICT OF theories ! IDEALS. Even now. in Buddha-like calm. In the West." So said the Swami Vivekananda once. the Swami had revealed himself to us as a religious teacher only. on the seat slightly raised above his class. as an expression of the idea that there may in a great it life be elements which he who stand. in reference to his own career. Ramakrishna Parama- hamsa. once more in a modern world is heard through his lips. and so enthroned. nothing of He was contented to live that life. the voice of the far past. And. it needs but a moment's thought and again one sees him in the old lectureroom.III. the lives may not himself underto words have often come back me. great and to leave it to others to explain. "HE knew nothing of Vedanta.

" men's eyes. All the rest does to save to open itself. where destiny calls. the breaking of bondage. he exclaimed. that we saw "Oh how the divinity of man ! For such. out of all And some that such fathomless peace had come we had seen and heard of him. these. that to one form the turning-point the eyes of a It was as spectators. the thirst LIFE. personal in the impersonal. the joy of the witness.THE DUALITY OF But renunciation. true that in a flash or had seen a great signal is sufficient two one Yet the secret patriot. the moment I of my landing in however." the work of one. after freedom. and these had been the themes of that disIt is course. found something quite . and before moments of a life. there is nothing do. the apostle of Hinduism. unperceived. the mergence of the alone. From India. who really understood India. not as a worker for may pass hundred the Swami in the West. the fire of purity. " would be calm.

I was always conscious of inwoven with the other. when. nor even the ideas which were connected with him. in his But wherein lay the struggle ? whence came the frequent sense of being baffled and thwarted ? Was it a growing consciousness of bodily weakness. It was the personality of my Master himself. leaving the body behind him. unexpected underlying all this. like a folded garment. from the till day that me at the ship's side. at the hour of cowdust. in all the fruitless torture and struggle of a lion caught he met in a net. For. that last serene moment. this had been English friends of his triumphal reception the. this element life.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. note carried by . conflicting with the growing clearness of a great purpose ? Amongst the echoes that had reached his in India. he passed out of the village of this world. It was not Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. that formed so strange a revelation here.

complexity of the education that and they demanded ! To due ous' ? what Was into it was the struggle actually the terrible effort of translat*su t rr-r~nsci- ing what he had called the the common life ? he had been born this in to a task Undoubtedly which was in respect this world of heroic difficulty.THE RELIGION OF WORK. In making such arrangements. Banished Himalayas with shattered health. at the very moment when his power had reached its height. Nothing is so terrible as to abandon in the safe paths of accepted ideals. how little must we have realised of the nature of those or of the difficulty undertakings. and leave his And some Indian undertakings on other shoulders. of us became eager to take any step that might make it possible to induce him to return to the West. a man-friend to to the my own ear. he had written a letter to his friend which was a cry of despair. order .

THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. my boy !" was all his reply. to work out some new in realisation. and he had in promptly Samad/ii. Sri Ramakrishna had asked "Noren. apparently in his conflict with Once. epoch half in the disciple's in in years to come. "I is said. or work ends. im- as one of the highest ex. career. with their faces set primarily towards the evolution of new forms of civic duty. In 53 . what was his highest ambition in life. Certainly these last five and a years. received this with a smile. the first time in the history of India an order of of the monks found themselves banded together. And for pressions religious life. 'to remain it always His Master. We may take I think. boyhood.' answered. that the moment marked an it." as he was then called. thought you had been born for something greater. he stood work without attachment. by the methods -old. particularly. which were for his for crowning personal gift to his own people.

were to take that place in the spiritual edu- had previously been occupied To the Adwaitin. cation which or strict believer of Vedanta. turns back to help value of the monk who. by systems of devotion. such labour ranks as devotional in the acceptance. where the attainment of the direct and so religious sense is so much rarer. the head and demand made on a monastic it order is that produce saints. for there 54 . To one who has reached worship becomes impossible. clearly In the Swami's scheme of things however. has not in the past been understood. much less understood than in the East. And the instead of devoting himself to maintaining the great tradition of the super-conscious life. it would almost seem as if such tasks society upwards.SERVICE AS WORSHIP. is that mood in which all is One and no second. the in goal the Indian philosophy in the attainlies ment of there this. front of the common But in India. Europe.

Worship is thus regarded as the school. acts being equally expres- sion of the Immanent Unity. hallowed the act of aid. even by the Adwaitin. Thus he too. the thought of self is more quickly restrained in relation to that of God. that systems praise and prayer "purify the heart" of For clearly. have the power to him who uses them. is none all to worship. is But service or giving. also its antithesis. none to be worshipper the . none can be any special sense con- distinguished as in stituting adoration. "purifying of the heart" the burning out of selfishness.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. for higher stages of spiritual development. with regard to work. or the service of man. 55 . mitted. and. and of Yet it is adworshipped are one. or preparation. is The connoted Worship the very antithesis of use. Worship. But the self-same sequence would seem to have held good in the eyes of the Swami. than to any other. worshipper. and hallowed.

who. was so filled with the impulse of this reverence that he sucked the sores of the The nursing lepers to bring them ease. Men would be sent out from the Monastery to give relief in famine-stricken areas. and dying started an school at Murshida- His schemes however went much further. He was consumed with a desire . the early days of Order. had indeed from the first been natural activities of the Children of Ramkrishna. a national point of view. Another established a teaching nucleus These were. the 'sappers and miners' of the army of religion. to direct the sanitation of a town. or to nurse the sick at a pilgrim centre. But when the Swami Vivekananda returned from the West these things took on a They were considered from larger aspect. said the Swami.THE PUBLIC GOOD. the name of man. One man orphanage and industrial bad. in Till I know of one the disciple. of the sick and the feeding of the poor. in the South.

A thousand new articles of use must be assimi- 57 .THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. ments about. dience. for the education of Indian women. of the development to be brought India must learn a new ideal of obe- The Math was placed. only those who have seen can judge. Was his life indeed a failure. How the impersonal motive multiplies the power to suffer. therefore. on a basis of organization which was contrary to all the current ideas of religious freedom. and for the scientific and technical education of the country. as he used to say. as he was sometimes tempt- ed his to feel it. he could have set India on her feet ? Or were there higher laws at work. since there never million came to hands that "twenty pounds" with which. that would eventually make a far greater success than any that could have been gathered within a single lifetime ? His view was penetrative as well as He had analyzed the elecomprehensive.

under modern conditions. And he would throw a world of enthusiasm into a long course of experiments on such problems as the sinking of a well or the making of brown bread. he . might rightly. rowing. Long ago. tion of in his direct- To a western mind. On the last Charok Puja day of his life a gymnastic society to the came Math for sports and prizes. garden- gymnastic exercises. provided with furniture. simplest. all these were by degrees made a part of the life of the young brahmachartns and himself. be opinion. The energy which had hitherto gone into the mortifica- courses of athletic the body. and he of his desire that the Hindu Lent spoke should be celebrated henceforth by special exercises. ing. Therefore.THE PAIN OF THE PIONEER lated. were of the though his own habits two or three rooms were Digging. the keeping of animals. the that nothing in it might well seem Swami's life had been more admirable than 58 this. ed to the training of the muscles.

that are neces- that very moral exaltation chisel in which is as the his hand. endured by the sculptor pain ? of a new ideal The very sensitiveness and delicacy of perception sary to his task. the Un- ""pure. he himself should from time through the anguish of revolt. are turned on himself in passive moments. ever the Witness. touched. had defined the mission of the Order of Ramakrishna as that of realizing and exchanging the highest ideals of the East and of the West.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. And as assuredly he to here in power of engage But proved his own such an undertaking learning as by that was inevitable that to much by his gift of it teaching. to 59 . the the Unmoving. free. is so clear and so deeply established that only at great cost to himself could a man carry it into a fresh realized the Has any one channel. as time go The Hindu a reflection in on earth of that of the Great God Divine Empyrean. ideal of the religious life.

HIS DOUBT OF THE PRESENT. with the Rajah of Khetri. almost as a crime. duality took the form different ideals. postulated. of in its of a play upon two which either was highest own world. even the cated ease seems then. become doubt. one that is chosen and another But in this case the common endured. Occasionally. What a heaven of a soul. to such hardest and sternest of those lives that are understood and authenti- crowd ! by the imitative moral sense of the I have noticed in most experiences of being this consciousness woven out of two threads. He was betray the inner conflict. and yet each. and found that the wound had been caused by a thorny branch which he had held aside When the Swami exfor himself to pass. the Rajput laughed the matter 60 . and terror of responsibility. let fall unconsciously. a word. to those who its believed in fellow. when he saw that his arm was bleeding profusely. would riding on one occasion. to one who was much with him.

Swamiji ?" he said. aside. at that moment when her husband guest that he must their explained to this strange make his way from home to Chicago 61 . had been greater than the Abbot of Belur. burdened with much work and many cares. Who knows ? May be I in too am caught the glare of this flashlight civilisation. when suddenly right I after thought that perhaps they were all.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. " Are we not always the Defenders of the Faith." he said simply. of your modern for a moment. who had scattered his know- ledge and changed his name as he went." And I remember the story told by an American woman." said the Swami. telling the story." which is only " I have become entan- gled. who said she could not bear to remember his face. " I have become entangled. "And then. I was just going to tell him that they ought not to show such honour to the Sannyasin. to one who protested that to his mind the wandering Sadku of earlier years.

" Why should she?" he retorted. But she could not be bound. that could never again be made One day he was talking." she something had just broken within him. that saint who once upon a time was Queen of Chitore. with money which would be paid " It gladly to hear him speak of religion." if "as West. and of the freedom her husband had offered her. And so. in the whole.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. enwrapped the Swami as a I religious found in his own country another 62 point . in this Was she living down here the mire ?" And life. ly she if on- would remain within the royal seclusion. of the whole nexus of the personal with its inter-relations and reaction upon reactions. of Meera Bae. said was. side by side sunlit serenity and child-like peace which teac'i:-. as intolerable bondage and with that living anguish. " But why should she not?" some one asked. in asto" nishment. suddenly listener caught his thought.r.

from which he here. "Mother uses it And all. But we are only fumbling about. than those of most of us. of view. very human. yet they were wrought at the self-same cost of having to toil on in darkness and uncertainty. and only now and then emerging into light. he dared less and less." in the lives of the great This has not perhaps been an element teachers on which to it their narrators have cared Yet one catches a hint of Sri Ramakrishna. or to " After all. as years went on. dwell the much.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. to make determinate plans. dogmatize about the unknown. though the results of his efforts may have been choicer. or more enduring. Often dogged by the sense of failure. what do we know?" he said once. was very. case of in turned on when we are told how he God with the reproach. "Oh Mother 63 ! . often overtaken by a loathing of the limitations imposed alike by the instrument and the material.

the wavemarks of similar storms on the shores of the consciousness of another Teacher. deep the Master's nature. a course of many births .INDIA THE MOTHER. All thy rafters are fallen. he said. This was love of his country and his resentment of her suffering.' nor proclaimed an era of 'nation-making'. Throughout those years in which I saw him almost daily. Thy ridge-pole is broken. has attained to the extinction of 64 . what is this is You have brought me centred in these lads !" to ? All in my heart And the eleventh chapter of the Dhammapada one can see still. He neither used the word 'nationality. the thought of India was to him like the air he breathed. seen ! Thou shall not again build up this tabernacle. and painful is birth But now. apall desires.* There was one thing however. * I must run through Seeking for the maker of this tabernacle. thou hast been again and again. he was a worker at foundations. maker of the tabernacle. True. though twenty-four centuries have passed since then. that in he himself never his knew how to adjust. proaching the Eternal. The mind. and not finding. 'Man-making'.

and the to all that concerned within her. felt these faults to be his own. To him. Like some delicatelypoised bell. she appeared as the giver of English civilsation. what would the England of Victoria have been. Not a that sob did was heard her shores not find in him a responsive echo. was his heart lover. unsparing of her want of worldly wisdom.RESPONSE TO INDIA. And none. no tremor of weak- he no shrinking from mortification. that had not known and understood. without the wealth of India. For what. thrilled and vibrated by every sound that falls upon it. but only because he ness. was ever so possessed by the vision of her greatness. on the contrary. He was hard on her sins. There was no cry of fear. he would ask. was his own task. had been the England of Elizabeth in comparison with the India of Akbar ? Nay. But he was born a queen of his adoration was his Motherland. behind her ? Where would .

or so to those who listened. courage of the the of the Mahratta. would often seem Indeed there would sometimes come a point where none who wished to remember what had been said already. faith the the the heroism of Sikh. mind detached. pouran inexhaustible stream.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. in regarding female inor the details of caste customs laws provinces. system longer. have been her refinement ? where would have been her experience ? His country's religion. of metaphysics or pro- ceeding on and on for a couple of hours In these talks of his. ed from his lips in geography. And might still. history. could afford to listen any longer. and the purity and 66 . different or some abstruse theology. ethnology. With equal delight he it treated of details and of the whole. one with the note unwearied stream of analysis of the heritance. devotion of steadfast- the saints. the Rajput.

THE EPIC OF INDIA. Again. . each of these. yet again he would hold us breathless. that he would give us. and a hundred more. through the lonely years. another time he would talk of the great national genius that decreed to the birth of Indian father sovereigns and of a be of a Moslem Hindu with of mother. And bright. Shah Jehan. ness of noble women. Sher Shah. he of would the lived ex- plain how never the widows absorbed Mogul like House Hindu in remarried. Nor would he permit that the MohamHumamedan should be passed over. found a day and a place in his bead-roll of glistening names. in the very tone and rhythm of Thanasena. Now Akbar it was that coronation is still song of which sung about the streets of Delhi. all lived again. but in women. as we but lived through him the ill-starred reign. worship or At study. Akbar. yoon. Sirajud-Daulah .

He in told would be enough to start it. Then day lost horse. clad in the widow amongst her ing own the people. with his the Ganges we as.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. West. us how he had longed. incident. the commodity simpler like musk The offering of finding of a rare or saffron. lingered the white with sari the of faithful wife. or events still. into and saw him plunge. finally. the of children growing sleepy at their the evensong bells. . when the some little way and hear again noise play. lamp through long years tendabove the grave of her talk arise dead lord. an the order in treachery. Sometimes playful It the would out be of would or more some commonplace a sweetmeat. to stand once more at dusk outside an Indian village the evening calls. the cries of the 68 . as of we the heard the exclamation at listening " Plassy to is Hindu sent " ! general.

in his childhood How rain. in waterfall. history. chanting eternally 'Hara! Hara! The Free! The Free!' Like some great spiral of emotion. or sea ! The most beautiful sight he could remember was a mother whom he had seen. . next embracing association and 69 of race. as he had in ! known them or Bengal wonderful was the sound of water.THE LOVE OF INDIA. and the half-veiled sound of voices through the quickly-passing twilight How homesick he had been for the sound of the July rains. lowest circles its held . passing from stepping-stone to stepping-stone across a mountain brook. and hear the torrent one passed out of the body. to play with and baby on her back. as forests. and turning caress as she went. experiand the thought . herdsmen. fast its in love of soil and love of nature every possible ence. The ideal death would be to lie on a ledge of rock the in the midst of Himalayan beneath.

And when every story he would lose him- in thing splendid scorn of apology for anyIndian. told. than she even greater devehad known in the ber to in Only once. however. at potentiality. " to be the man born that vision after many in centuries. / see young. whole converging and single definite point. or in 70 . in fiery repudiation of false or charge contemptuous criticism. implied every word he ever throbbed he self. had supposed.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. I feel myself" he said a moment India is of great quiet. India of the of the beginning the twentieth century." It But in in truth this was spoke. centring upon a was thus the Swami's in worship of his own land. do I rememhim to have given specific utterance " this thought. on threshold lopments past. and standing. but young. And the point which it was focussed was the convicthat tion as ripe her critics with was not old and effete.

and re- armour ! of stand vealed But it is not to be supposed that he all was unaware of the temptation which His Master had said this implied. to restrain and suppress these thoughts of country and history. he would endeavour. moment And so. time and again.THE LO VE OF INDIA. there. laying down and than often to for others that the elements of a faith love could never be more how seem the a pale reflection of his own. " It of in is the true years of his first discipleship. him. and to make of himself only that poor religious . it Her work may be thin as a sheet And " ! is thin. might be rent at any as one who has for- sworn them will struggle against thoughts of home and family. that My as Mother has placed done. did the habit of the monk slip away the from warrior him. that there is a film of ignohis rance upon it mind. It of tissue paper.

even if the unbeliever should enter My what ? My images. to whom all countries and back. and broke the to silence of And years to say thou also art his !" murderer " He was always striving to be faithful to the banner of Ramkrishna. Yet again the impulse 72 he had . saying. from one of the great experiences of his life. OR DO ideal who English fifteen soldier. He came in Kashmir. ' with the simplicity of a child. all races should be alike.THE CONFLICT OF IDEALS. Besides. wanderer. he believed that force spent in mere emotion was dissipated. and the utterance of a message of his own seemed often to strike him as a lapse. that to you ? Do I PROTECT YOU ?" was that sannyasin was stabbed by an YOU PROTECT ME His personal of the Mutiny. Mother said What. is and defile temples. only force restrained being conserved for expression to give in all He work. "There must be no more of this anger.

India. would overtake him.INSTINCT NOT THEORY. and to find the explanation !" own words. national But of the In he was unconscious. he would once more be scattering those thoughts of hope and love for his race and cases for his his country. and lives have sprung of to up already. epitome of the of of had been a living Vedanta so was Vivekalife. apparently without like knowledge. and before he knew it. as Ramakrishna. Just in fact. which. fell in so many seed upon soil prepared for it. to leave it to others that great life. applied to his own Mas"He was contented simply to live ter. books. in widely distant parts into hearts and of devotion Sri the Motherland. 73 . without knowing nanda theory his any the this.

here at Belur. a party of friends arrived from America. at 1898). At the time of my landing in India (January 28th. travelling in I Kumaon and in Kashmir.Iv THE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND THE ORDER OF RAMA KRISHNA It the was amongst the lawns and trees of Ganges-side that I came to know. and with characteristic intrepidity took possession of the half-ruined cottage. that 74 began. with . the ground and building chased Belur. in a personal sense. and later. had just been purwhich were afterwards Ramakrishna. to be transformed into the Calcutta of the Order of Monastery A few weeks later still. habitable. the leader to whose work my life was already given. to make It simply but pleasantly was as the guest of these it friends.

and the river between us and the opposite village. could be seen the towers and trees of Dakshineswar. use at mile or so to Monastery. come up to the very foot of the steps. actual Ramakrishna the The house which was in that time as the Paramahamsa. a few miles little Our above Calcutta. built on the western bank of the river. and something also of the home-aspects and relationships of the Swami's own life. or that temple-garden his feet in which the Swami at and brothers had of once been boys. and between us and were several other garden-houses. beside the Ganges serves the live could purpose of a carriage. the study of India. cross- 75 . A mile so further up the eastern bank. 1 cottage stood on a low terrace.THE ORDER OF RA MAKRISHNA. lay the south of our it some half cottage. was from half to three-quarters of a mile broad. and at least one ravine. At flood-tide the who which to those gondola-like boat. them.

when such ingathered. by -a harvest of thought and experience could possibly have been garnered. broken but rarely by question and answer. then. Amongst brilliant conversationalists. ed by a doubtful-looking plank made out of half of the stem of a palm tree. To our cottage here. at sunrise. He was never known to show the slightest impatience at interruption. the Swami was peculiar in one respect. alone or accompanied by some of his brothers. in which he would reveal to us some of the deepest secrets of the Indian world.MORNING TALKS. And found here. He was by no means indifferent as to the minds he was address76 . we might listening to be seated. long that after our early breakfast still was ended. inexhaustible flow of interpretation. energy of impulse once could for have its come giving-forth. or how. I I am struck this afresh whenever the turn back upon wonder as to how such memory. came the Swami daily. under the trees.

above Indian striving. His in only the deepest utterances were heard such listeners presence of as brought a subtle sympathy and reverence But I do not into the circle about him. from literature. there and strength . Nor were these ideals always so comprehensible as might have been supposed. to render some Indian ideal of perfection clearer. think he was himself aware of certainly this. and from a thousand other sources. an exposition of ideals. This was a 77 . is from history. ly general It and impersonal in their occasion.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. But the purpose was always the same. and no external circumstance seemed to storm have power to ruffle him. Moods of were in plenty but they sprang. Facts it and true. was here that we learnt the great out- standing watchwords and ideals of the For the talks were. ing. all. from hidden sources they were entire. illustrations were gathered. like those of sweetness.

Purity renunciation were analyzed untiringly. in matters worldly. tempted by nothing not nor . unless it Love was not love. proving on the contrary.' or without a 'motive. though perhaps with less force. it was was 'without a reason. attainment of the impersonal standpoint The was boldly proposed. 'a very simple fellow.' incurious. insisted.' as a western speaker might have attempted. easily 78 . world in which concentration of mind was the object of more deliberate cultivation than even the instincts of benevolence could require. kingship pleasure fatherhood . not wealth nor in all the worlds He had created. was but the time was not yet come in which this to be argued as for or against India. Great God. to express the and The same idea. in matters personal "Be the Witness !" was a command heard oftener than that which bids us pray for our The idea of recognizing an enemies enemy would have seemed to this mind a proof of hatred.EASTERN IDEALS.

We a were even called upon understand to in foreign religion. dreams. stooped and the replaced vision perfec- them.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. discrimination of unaware delicate For higher that a significance 79 . when the maggots fell from was a his finger-joints. and begging His daily handful of rice from door to door. shone through all our evil. and that saint had had were his who fainted. the weals made by the to lash. immeasurably thought all our past conceptions of which sainthood finds expresunconsciousness saint sion in an of is the body. Titiksha. "Eat brothers !" of Raghunath was one of tions The of it. in when the bullocks beaten his back were found while on presence. or non -correction of mark of the religious life. so profound that the that he goes naked. the soul. and who. and of this we might find a western example in that monk who was a leper. saying. deceived.

I the working that it out of this. India finds it expression religion. which was held. 80 . This of was freedom all individual rights soul. ex- perience only reverence for the ideal of beauty. thought. lay one the property foot on which intruder . opinion. which. the presence of a Greek statue. There was one aspiration. and universal application in the religious life as that of the concentration the of of the the mind. in this new thoughtto be of the same sovereign world. in certain cases its of nudity. so the Hindu sees in the naked saint only a glorified and childlike purity. in in in Europe. daily saw amounted accept to a form of renunciation. and the one possession that the was jealously to guard as his own. finds in As we. in art. he brook I of no must and as in watched life. however.EASTERN WAELS. including the minor Here monk the action. To nothing.

of one might described . had been wanderus solitary. 81 . there were others who the as objected religion all and ceremonies be . atheism tempered by hero-worship that of another led him to a round of practices which to most of us would constitute an intolerable burden some lived in a world .THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM. the religious in the past. if it concealed a fetter . it One could for eloquent of many not help seeing that accounted development for the fact the comparative nonin monasticism India. how pure the will And yet . too. at however pleasant. ! this ideal. whether the as hermits or In were not men. ers. a word to stand ready to sever any connection that gave a hint of bondage how clear must be the mind that would do this. of their there who did approve leader's talking with to women rites . monastery beside as we were told. that the highest types of of life. was things.

others again could not away with such nonsense. 82 . for the failure. but must needs guide themselves by the The fact that all these coldest logic. of saints. order that the highest and most disinterested characters may throw themFor. and amongst them. in certain res- pects. of this conception of freedom. bore together in a close consilent witness to their conception of the right of the soul to It also. of the old Indian forms of authority. the best men had been too conscious of the more remote spiritual ideals. not help accounted thinking. in selves into state. it the work of the city and the of is surely should sincerely to necessary hold the task that they such organisation be the honourable carry out. which In the highest and most they could aspire to India of the past. however. as I could choose its own path. visions and miracles . both then and after.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. could be bound fraternity.

against making any attempt to force upon others that whieh we had merely found to be good for ourselves. is That of the Hinduism. in the very fact of the of Ramakrishna and his disciple tic Vivekananda. And some yet at the same time. when asked by of his own people what he considered. that the Swami gravely warned us again and again. 83 . And we existence cannot wonder that in spite of the of ability and character. nevertheless. with their characteris- contribution to the national thought. as rise believe. to be capable of such an enthusiasm for the assertion of the civic and national discipline.THE EXCHANGE OF IDEALS. is development that and sustenance of such I shown. capable enough of adding inspiration activities. as the great fault of the Western character. certain advantages of the modern system have thus been left for the moderns to her to demonstrate. It was perhaps as an instance of that 'exchange of ideals' which he had ever in mind.

they had known how to combine obedience with self-respect'.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. We were accounted by its the monastery as a whole. And finally. But it was not the Swami alone whom we saw at Belur. on errands of kindness and service toil They milked the cow that gave us- our supply. after seeing them in their own country. Visits of ceremony and of kindness were frequently paid us by the older members of the community. it was one of duty the this monks themselves who took humble office. he 'that answered. his place in Some novice would be deputed daily. the hospitable monks. and when the servant whose it was at nightfall to carry the milk. Another was appointed to give Bengali lessons. to deal with the strange problems of our Indian house-keeping. to be the greatest achievement of the English. was frightened by the sight of a cobra in the path. So guests. as back and forth would for us. when 84 the Swami Viveka- . jand refused to go again.

was true that of late he had corresponded with them freely. these monastic visitants of ours. .them for some six years. from and scarcely yet had they recovered their and surprise. And yet.altogether off his track. and that was their Master disciple. when his 85 . first pleasure lost to It Before that he had been practically . In in touch with those these and a thousand similar ways. we came who could reveal to us the shining memory that formed which. as woof.and that for no time had they been. . woven all the warp. his place was always duly taken at the morning tea-table by some one or . long. on these lives of For they had only one theme.another who felt responsible for the happiness and entertainment of his guests. Sri Ramakrishna and his great The Swami had now been back with them for thirteen or fourteen months only. were renunciation.MONASTIC HOSPITALITY. nanda himself was absent for some weeks on a journey.

This it is which explains. men. so often worn as a man wanders from forest to forest. first success in America had been heard his brethren of.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. most of had had only their con- fidence in the great mission foretold by his Master.. And the again little and again he must have left band of brethren. Those who have witnessed here or there some great life of asceticism. and be no things. in the hope never 86 . the long and seclusion in caves the garb of mud and ashes. which to the Western onlooker might seem inexplicable. to tell them that it was he. to as an element in the impulse of renunciation. as I think. and village to village. This mood would seem to have been much with the Swami in silence . the early years after the passingof his Master. will recognise a mood of passionate longing to lose one's own identity. and a thousand other features of this type of religion. to be united with the lowliest and most hidden go forth from amongst more remembered by them.

and from his account. to sake this journey that was abandoned. This man's name. When he ar- rived it had taken him some two or three months. I the record of the life that was lived at glean this period in the monastery. was Sadananda. to earn his way to Calcutta from his old home he found the Swami on But for the point of setting out his once more. For such was the love that bound them all to each other. and the departure have taken place that was not evening did . and especially to him. who heard that he was lying. that they could not rest without A few months nursing him themselves. Once he was brought back from such an expedition by the community itself.ill at a place called Hathras. and send to take him home. later he was followed to the monastery by a disciple whom he had called to himself during his wanderings. by means of railway service. to be heard of more.A FIRST RECRUIT. in religion. with its strong broken English.

occur till twelve months later. rise and call the others. he was so busy!" Early in the while it was still dark. "The Swami's this first mission began with me. and they would all sway themselves backwards and forwards dreamily. or the Rani of again Joan and yet again the Swami would long passages from Carlyle's French Revolution. singing. Some- Loyola Jhansi recite . he would morning. of Ignatius of Are. which till noon." says disciple proudly. "Awake ! Awake nectar tion. From would last chanting they would pass into times it would be the story hymns and history. ! all !" ye who would drink of the divine Then all would proceed to medita- afterwards drifting almost unconsciously into singing and talking. He was lunatic-like. referring to this time. During this year. .THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. "would work twenty-four hours at a time. la repeating together "Vive la Republique! Vive Republique !" Or the subject of their 88 . or even later. he the Master.

and ritualist of the communiwould drive them all. till long sit after and midnight might they would chant ''Hail Sita-Rama !" The it special festivals of their all religions brought each special forms of celebration. till at last evening had come. Or on be. the roof. At re- Christmas time. with reveries might be S. Death It might perhaps be one or two o'clock when Ramakrishnananda housekeeper. the cook. But after this. and the same unconscious instinct of the dramatist. they would lose themselves in an endless Sister identification !" with his "Welcome. with threats. even Ramakrishna. As often would scarcely break the absorption. Francis of Assisi. to ty bathe and eat. they would 89 . again would follow song. and talk of the Master again would come the .THE FIRST LOVE. bringing with it the time for the two hours Sri this of as Arrati to not. they would "again group" again would go on the song and talk. for instance. trances of meditation.

and talk in low tones of the cline. the voice of a European was heard them. in the sible at the door. and the singing of the world's first Gloria. Very curious is the story of how Good Friday. around a lighted log.. with long shepherds' crooks. not to be thought of. and they had risen gradually tothat terrible exaltation of spirit which comes to those who Food was give themselves to that day.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. coming of the angels to the lonely watchers by their flocks. calling on name of Christ. to be drunk out of a single cup by allin the midst of such scenes. and the juice was squeezed out. eager to hear of the day " from the lips of a Christian. and mixed with water. and knew nothing about Good Friday. but they had contrived to have by them a few grapes. Hour after hour had they kept gone by. With inexpres- delight they swarmed down on him. 90 . But he said he belonged to the Salvation Army. twelve or fifteen men of them. They only kept General Booth's birthday.

and have to him. I forget what". his property secretly restored "Those were hot days. and in the cloud that overcast the face and voice of the teller. and something else. dull. was never 'Hari bol ! bol Lord! Call! Call!' or bol Call on the 'Oh Mother!' in all ! ! . never a while. It is said how- ever that one of their number stole round by another door and brought him back to eat.THE GREAT PREPARATION.. the Swami. depression that fell. Sometimes he was left alone for and he would walk up and down." says the the tale. saying. and drove him forth. for one moment idle. Outsiders came and went. they the unfortunate missionary. he. saying he was not worthy to possess it. said Sadananda. pundits argued and discussed. one could realize the sudden this discovery. at It seems upon the monks. teller of with his face aglow. first that in their snatched his Bible from disappointment.. But. "there was no minute of rest.

to buy . the poverty of those days. And they could afford no more.and distribute some hundreds of copies of the tion. and came many They begged or for teaching." while cooking was going on. For in spite of the monks to be fed. Their many came to own resources were scanty. and the ImitaBhagavad the two favourite books of the Order at Gita. or during the service of the altar.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. help funds enough also. outside the monastery. . will and in some interval said.cloth They had only one piece of them that was good enough to amongst be worn across the shoulders. 'Sir. And I watched all the time from a distance. 92 . these ways preparing himself for his great work. So this was kept on a line and used by anyone who went out. Yet food was found somehow for the poor and for guests. you not eat ?' always to be answered Sometimes the talk took place playfully. offices in which all shared without distinction.

"Silence. who lived near Ghazipur. that while this book took the So passed some twelve months.* that saint whom he always held second only to Ramakrishna. by name Yogananda. unto my soul all Speak Thou !" alone. after. He came back in a couple of months to share the treasure he had gained with others. For place by degrees amongst experiences remembered. that time. silence. was lying ill with small- * Pavhari Baba was a saint in 1898.GLIMPSES OF EARL Y DA YS. the Gita grew every day in fulness of power and beauty in the minds of these Hindu children of Ramakrishna. years at And ye prophets Lord. He died by burning. Suddenly news came that one of the brothers. O a sentence that the as Swami quoted is a venture that he then it remembered of Thomas a perhaps needless to say its Kempis. ! all ye teachers! was. 93 . Swami went away to Ghazipur Then to visit Pavhari Baba.

Small groups would enter and leave. Now as a scholar.a great hour. was as if nanda's sickness had been a mere incident.and greatest mood. for days ther. there a saint. " earth.a call given through him. "Sometimes naked. Here a rebel. again as a fool. Thus they appear on the Paramahamsas. and a to party. On one occasion he saw a -every saint. the and nights togein his highest Swami being always . many days were passed in religious education. in a ^constant succession." and this was the occasion of Mohammedan line . "whose and curve told that he was a Paramahamsa. a Paramahamsa. . sometimes mad. At Allahabad. pox at Allahabad. take up It once more Yoga- Sadananda's account. started to nurse him.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. the So repeating " The Marks of the 94 . and the whole town came and went in a great stirring. followed by the Swami.

THE WANDERING FRIAR. This time he set out with a monk known left his Swami as Akhandananda. as the disciple would put it. till the great triumph of the year 1897. who took him to Almora and left him there. when brothers. not to return. enjoying the hospitality of a family who had formerly himself on a journey to Thibet. It may 95 . in the village of Baranagore But now the banks of the Ganges. "a whole night Such experiences lasted perfermenting. the Swami one day fainted with hunger." haps for two weeks. and then the party left Allahabad. which saved his life. and by twos and threes returned " on to the monastery. from the Viveka ChudaParamahamsas moni of Sankaracharya. How I been without food long the brothers had do not know. and prepared practically and gave him a cucumber. there the came a time. in the year 1890. when a poor Mohammedan found him. that on the befriended It is said way up the mountains. there passed.

to keep a roof overhead. He so dull after they lost him'! says the narrator. have been that at this time. however. with Nirmalananda. for the landlord talked of rebuilding. but the monks themselves were scattered. who would not leave the ashes of their Master. come them and for his all shine. the thread of his wanderings was wrote occasionally. till waiting always for food and drink they some one who knew him during that period and questioned him. but vowed. that the longest time he had ever gone without food. with rock-like determination. for till they foregather in their worship-room once more. He. under this austerity. were He told five days. 'It had been After this. as certainly later. Rama- krishnananda by name. so to speak.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. should 96 . come storm. lost. then.. brothers. And even the first home had to be abandoned. he was under the vow to ask for nothing. was offered. There was one monk.

the occasional residence of one Premananda,. and the new member of the fold, 'as dishwasher', removed to a house some distance away, but still in the immediate neighbourhood of Dakshineshwar, and the monastery which had previously been at Baranagore was now known as the Alum Bazar Math. Akhandananda at this time was always
"chasing," always in pursuit of the absent

Every now and then he would hear

of him in some town, and would arrive there, only in time to hear that he was gone, leavOnce the Swami Trigunatita ing no trace.

found himself

in trouble in

a Guzerati


when some one

said that a

Bengali Sadhu

was staying with the Prime Minister, and if he appealed to him, would surely give him He made his appeal, and found that aid.

unknown Sadhu was




But he,

after rendering the assistance that


needed, sent his brother onwards, and him-

proceeded alone.


great words of

Buddha, constantly quoted by him, "Even as the lion, not trembling at noises, even as

the wind, not caught in a net, even as the untouched by the water, so do thou
alone, like the rhinoceros


were the

guiding principle of his

at this time.

had been at Almora, as we now know, news reached him, of the death, in pitiful




childhood, and he had fled into the wilder

mountains, leaving no clue.


one who,

saw deep into his personal years it seemed that this death had inexperience, flicted on the Swami's heart a wound, whose quivering pain had never for one moment

And we

may, perhaps, venture to
burning desire


part at least of his

for the education

and development of Indian

women, to this sorrow. At this time he passed some months


cave overhanging a mountain-village. Only twice have I known him to allude to this




Once he said, "Nothing in my experience. whole life ever so filled me with the sense of

be done.


was as









wander to and fro in the plains below." And again he said to some one, "It is not the form of his life that makes a Sadhu. For it is possible to sit in a cave and have one's whole mind filled with the question of how


pieces of bread will be brought to one



at the end of this period, of that propulsive energy expression which he spoke, that he made a vow

was perhaps

worship the Mother at Cape Comorin.

In carrying this out, he was lavish of time, yet it must have taken him only about

two years to accomplish the vow. In the course of his wanderings towards this end, he

have touched upon and studied

every phase of Indian

this period are never ended.

The The

stories of

of the


friends he







the initiation



Mimansa Philosophy with Mahratta


and the Jain Scriptures with Jains was accepted as their Guru by Rajput princes lived for weeks with a family of sweepers, in was able to observe at first Central India hand such obscure questions as the caste;






saw many of the and natural beauties of his and finally reached Cape

Comorin too poor



for a seat in a ferry-

boat to the shrine of

Kanya Kumari, and

across the strait to the island, in spite of sharks, to offer the worship he had vowed.
It was on his return northwards through Madras, that he formed the strong group of




to America, for


the means of sending which country he sailed from Bombay, about the beginning of

who became

June 1893.



however he was not eager

to do.


disciples in


still tell



first five

hundred rupees collected

for the


were immediately spent by him in worship and charity, as if he would force on










driving him forth.

Even when he reached
waiting for the feeling to refuse the

Bombay, he was



undertaking, he


the form

of his

own Master appeared




urged him to go. At last he wrote secretly to Sarada Devi, the widow of Sri Ramakrishna, begging her, if she could, to advise and bless him, and charging her to tell no

one of





she should

hear from him again.

was only

receiving, in answer to this letter, her

of her


and the assurance

prayers, that he actually left India for the

Now, at last, there was no escaping That quest of forgotten-ness that had first borne him out of the doors of




the monastery, had led him also to changename in each Indian village that he






some one

heard from him how, after his


speech at Chicago, the mingling of the

ness of this defeat with the cup of his triumphachievement, racked his consciousness
night long.


He stood now in the glare of The unknown beggar could remain

unknown no more
In these


wanderings through India, I third and final element, in my
of that great body
find in




which was to




witness and

think, that the

There can be no doubt,




his education in English

were and

second, the great perof his Guru, illustrating and authensonality ticating that life which formed the theme of

Sanskrit literature

the sacred writings



thirdly, as




his personal

and the Indian peoples,

knowledge of India as an immense reli-

gious organism, of which his Master himself, with all his greatness, had been only, as it
were, the personification and utterance. And these three sources can, as I think, be distinctly







he preaches Vedanta and upholds before the world the philosophy of his people,
is for the most part drawing upon the Sanskrit books of past ages, though, it is true, with a clearness and certainty of touch

that could only be the result of having seen

them summed up


a single wonderful



he talks of Bhakti as of "a devotion

beginning, continuing and ending in love," or when he analyzes Karma Yoga, 'the secret of


of the Master himself,

see before us the very personality we realize that the


struggling to





which he himself has

dwelt at the feet of another. But when


Tread his speech before the Chicago Conference, or his equally remarkable "Reply to


Address," or the




at Lahore, in lineaments of a generalized and essential Hinduism, we find ourselves in presence of something gathered by his own labours, out

1897, he portrayed the

of his



The power behind experience. utterances lay in those Indian

wanderings of which the tale can probably never be complete. of this firstIt was

hand knowledge,
for his


and not of vague sen-

timent or wilful blindness, that his reverence

own people and their land was born. was a robust and cumulative induction,

moreover, be


ever hungry for


and dauntless



of hostile



bases of Hinduism

had,' as

he once

said, 'been the



And more
older and


this, it

study of his was the

same thorough and


knowledge that



simpler elements



loom so large




Posconceptions of his race and country. sessed of a modern education that ranked with
the most advanced in his own country, he yet could not, like some moderns, ignore the Sannyasin or the peasant, the idolater or the
caste-ridden, as elements in the great whole called India. And this determined inclusive-

ness was due to
for years together




which he had

been united with them.

It must be remembered, however, that we have not entirely analyzed a great career when we have traced, to their origin in the


personal experience, those ideas which form dominant notes. There is still the orginal


energy that

the endowment of perennial makes the world-spectacle so

much more

of meaning to one soul than

to another, to

be accounted




gathered that from his very cradle Vivekananda had a secret instinct that told him he

was born

to help his country.


was proud







temporal vicissitudes of his early days in America, when sometimes he did not know where to turn for the next meal, his letters U>
his disciples in India
faith of his


that this innate

had never wavered.


Such an hope resides assuredly in all




are born to carry out any special is a deep unspoken conscious-

ness of greatness, of which life itself is to be the sole expression. To Hindu thinking, there is a difference as of the poles, between such

consciousness of greatness and vanity, and this is seen, as I think, in the Swami himself at the

Sri Ramakrishna,

moment of his first meeting with when he was decidedly rethan attracted,


by what he

regarded as the old man's exaggerated estimate of his powers and of himself.


had come, a lad of


as a


ber of a party visiting Dakshineshwar, and some one, probably knowing the unusual


quality of his voice, and his knowledge of music, sugggested that he should sing. He responded with a song of Ram Mohun Roy's,

ending with the words,


for support

keep the treasure in secret, purity." This seems to have acted like a signal

boy !" cried Sri Ramakrishna, have been looking for you these three From years, and you have come at last !"

"My boy my

that day the older man may be said to have devoted himself to welding the lads about


into a brotherhood

whose devotion ta

"Noren," as the Swami was then called, would be unswerving. He was never tired of foretelling his great fame, nor of pointing out
the superiority of his genius. If most men had two, or three, or even ten or twelve gifts, he said, he could only say of Noren that his numbered a thousand. He was in


amongst the

Even thousand-petalled lotus." great, while he would allow
some "two of

that with one might be found


on the other hand.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. if he were to eat beef in an English hotel. those about him as unimpugnable. he said. those gifts which are the marks of Siva." Noren had at least eighteen of such. By such would convey sayings he relation. in his discrimination of hypoand on one occasion refused to accept a man whose piety of life was regarded by crisy. He was sensitive to the point of physical pain himself. when a new disciple in all came to him. The man. to physically examine him mentally and For the possible ways. and who was to lead. between those this disciple It who were to be his supporters. while Noren. was a whited sepulchre. sought constantly to build up an enduring based firmly on essentials. would nevertheless be holy. was his habit. with all his decorum. so holy holiness that his very touch to others. his presence In spite of constant purification was contamination. as signifi- human body was 108 . to his trained eye.

in lives anterior to his present consciousness. to endure the bondage of bodilife. that when the day should come for this boy to realize who and what he was. ly existence. while from the less honoured own was It was after evoked by means of questions.VI VEKANAND AS cant in all its PAST parts. were perit mitted in this condition to relate their story . by the was always understood the remembering by the lad this of what he had already attained. as I have been told. even in this world. the preparation 109 . any model of a machine These exami- nations moreover would include the throwing of the newcomer into a sleep. No menial service to himself was Sri permitted by Ramakrishna from this particular follower. Fanning. going out from with its limi- And by disciples. as to a skilled scientific observer. such an examination of "Noren" that the Master told all about him. The privileged. in which he had access to the subconscious mind. he would refuse for a mo- ment longer tations.

of the East. when he the destiny of this himself had passed away. none Amongst the many quaint-seeming customs is more deep-rooted than one who the the prejudice against eating food cooked by is not respected. and the thousand and one attentions all little commonly rendered to the Guru. miration.THE ORDER OF RAMAKRISHNA. by an attitude of adunmixed with actual reverence. of tobacco. in good stead. he said. was to stand him in furnishing authenticity work. for Noren. belief in he created a particular lad. And on this point Swami's Master was as sensitive as a But what he woman. in this boy's nature was masculine in its quality. was the "roaring impurity. if not a no . as compared to his own fire." burning up all merely feminine. which. not Thus. and support to his For the Swami was nothing. these had to be offered to the Master by others. self would not eat him- he would give freely to his favourite disciple. The core of divinity again.

Whatever he did. And it was essential breaker of bondage. were willing to eat with the Europeans whom their leader had accepted. It was not for them to question. or even of asceticism. it was their place to be found unflinching at his side. not even for them to ask for final justification and excuse. Nothing the days of my life in India.THE ROARING FIRE. that there should be those about him who understood his breaches the of polar difference custom between and those of the in idly self-indulgent. in . Men whose own lives were cast in the strictest mould of Hindu orthodoxy. wherever he might lead. Was the Swami seen dining in Madras with an Englishman and his wife ? Was it said that while in the West he had touched beef or wine ? Not a quiver was seen on the faces of bis brethren. struck me early so for- cibly or so repeatedly as the steadiness with which the other members of the Order this part of the mission laid fufilled upon them. not for them to explain.

in relation to him. all appears to me. his brothers of the It was said to me Order of Ramakrishna. or 112 . many penumbra of his besome of which are with us and of none of whom it could be said with entire truth that here ends. even so futile would have been the life and labours of Vivekananda. meaningless as would have been the Order of Ramakrishna without Vivekananda. lately by one of the older generation that "Ramakrishna had lived for the making of Vivekananda. in these lives. those others. in the appear still." Is it indeed so? Or is it not rather impossible to distinguish fixity with such in a single betwen one part and another.THE ORDER OF R And that surely none can pass this spectacle in review. mighty utterance of the Divine Often it Mother-heart? studying with us a soul nanda. the sphere of that there begins his own. without. that. and ing. without its being borne in upon him. behind him. that there has been named Ramakrishna-Vivekaforms.

he and his party became the guests of Mr. We were a party of four Western women. Ole Bull of Cambridge. one of whom was Mrs. IN NORTHERN INDIA. of 1898 stands out in my" as a series of pictures. who were then residing there. Thus "3 . painted like against a golden back- ground of religious ardour and simplicity. surrounded by his brethren (or gurubhais) and disciples. and we occupied a bungalow some distance away. and another a member of the higher official world of Anglo-Indian Calcutta. Once arived at Almora. Sevier. Massachusetts. formed their central point. and all alike glorified by the presence of one who. and Mrs. to us in his immediate circle.WANDERINGS The summer memory old altar-pieces. Side by side with us travelled the Swami.

after a month or so. with Patna. pleasantly grouped. as the guest of Mrs. as one approaches it by railway from the East. Ole Bull. fail The industries of our leader's eager and luxuries of 114 . I have no doubt. and could not praise. excepting of course those who have in some measure specialised on the subject might almost be described as illiteracy. is amongst the sights of the world. we left Almora for Kashmir. and left behind him all his attendants. But when. What until we journeyed from the scenes were those through which the beginning of May end of October ! And we of with what introduced passionate enthusiasm were one by one reached it ! to each point of interest. it was possible to combine a high degree of freedom and intercourse. the Swami went with us. The river-front of Benares.IN NORTHERN INDIA. as we The ignorance educated Western people about India. and our object-lessons began. the ancient Pataliputra. itself.

that so brightened his eyes and thrilled in his voice. the memory.THE PEASANTS WELCOME. the or his absorption more intense. Here his thought was free to brood over the land as a whole. for the morning porridge. doubtless. nowhere did his love seem more ardent. Lucknow must needs be dwelt upon and enumerated. For I have heard that there is . with such details as that of the pot-du-feu of mixed grains left boiling all It was night. True. in his eagerness. and he would spend hours explaining the communal system of agriculture. things. or describing the daily life of the farm housewife. covered with fields and farms and villages. But of admitted that it was not only the great cities beauty and historic importance. would Perhaps impress on our memory. strive to Swami. of his own days as a wanderer. than as we passed across the long stretches of the Plains. as he told us these it said by sadhus no hospitality in India like that of the humble peasant home.

that he may go forth from beneath her roof comforted and refreshed. But it is she who steals in at the last moment. on waking in the morning. Thus. before she goes to rest herself amongst her sleeping household. ginning of the that this in^ the hot hours of an afternoon near the berains. the mistress has no better bedding to offer than straw. 116 . It lived would seem sometimes as if the Swami and moved and had his very being in His historic the sense of his country's past.. as we journeyed across the Terai. no better shelter than an outhouse built of mud. The wild peacocks spoke to us of Rajputana and her ballad lore.IN NORTHERN INDIA. consciousness was extraordinarily developed. and the story of an India that was never defeated. we were made to feel was the very earth on which had passed the youth and renunciation of Buddha. An occasional elephant was the text for tales of ancient battles. to place a tooth-brush twig and a bowl of milk where the guest will find them.

As we had Bengal into the crossed the boundary from North. "he understands the need of per- sonal government in Oriental countries. in "Unlike others. no office knows the day when he will pay it a visit of the poorest believes inspection. the to tell us of the Swami had stopped wisdom ." This idea -of the And even importance of personality in Eastern governments often talk.and methods of the great and merciful English ruler who was at that time at the head of their administration. he will receive justice at his hands.West Provinces.A RIGHTEOUS RULER. so no hospital. said. that if only he can reach him personally. where a strong public opinion is not yet developed. no college. He came uppermost in his constantly spoke of a democracy as theoretically the worst form for an impe- 117 . so long as she could oppose to the tide of conquest the military walls of these living artillery." he words that impressed my memory at the time.

who. that we caught 118 into the Punjab. and gaining her ear. at Windsor. Heart-broken pilgrims for the most part. And one of his fa- vourite speculations was that it had been a perception of this truth that had urged Julius Caesar on. as we listened to him. always accessible to appeal. our deepest glimpse .IN NORTHERN INDIA. We realised sometimes. and able to exercise a supreme disbureaucratic methods of a series of departments. who died. folk. of want and disillusionment. far from the homes and villages that they would never see again ! It was as we passed Rowever. For we heard from him the personal histories of innumerable simple rule. to understand the transition from the personal rule of sovereigns. in the early years of British had spent their all in the vain hope of reaching the Queen. to aspire to the imperial authority. how hard it had been for the Indian poor. always open to the impulse of cretion. rial government to take. to the cold mercy.

of the Master's love of his own land. of the Punjabi maiden 119 her spinning . or endorse his outflowing sym- pathy. for he had made his own. would have supposed him to have been born in the province. in regard to those Europeans whom been.LOVE OF THE PUNJAB. much and given much for there were some amongst them who urged that they found in him a rare mixture of 'Guru Nanak and Guru . he. It would seem that he had been deeply bound to the people there by many ties of love and reverence had received . loved the wayward hearts their inflexible tible it may have the all more condemnation and incorrupsternness. Even his the most suspicious amongst them trusted him. And if they refused to credit judgment. Govind. Any one who had seen him here. His American disciples his picture were already familiar with called to his that own face a dreamy at delight." their first teacher and their last. so intensely had he identified himself with it.

of Siva. that he called to him Mussulman vendor of sweetmeats. and bought and ate from his hand Mohami village.' 1 20 . listening to I am He I ! I Sivoham "Sivoham at the same am He !" Yet its ! ! forget to tell that it was here. As we went through some pure golden tint of skin. he would forget all. Or as one drove beside him in a tonga. on entering the Punjab. in that tale of which he never wearied. so different from the pink and white of the European ideal. he is said to have time. and ''lost one eternal meditation. wheel. in silent. near the end of his life.IN NORTHERN INDIA. Again he would show us the medan food. that constitutes the 'fairness' admired by the Indian races. even as. the Great God. that distinguished the Hindu homes. must not done again at Benares. he would point out to us those strings of marigolds above the door. ing nothing of remote upon the mountains. askmen but solitude.

in descriptions of mountain-forests on the road to Almora. that. partly by boat. surrounded by her daughters-in-law. who sat at her spinning-wheel under a great chenaar-tree *in a farm-yard. And then. He The Chenaar-tree is the Orie ntal Plane.BEAUTY OF KASHMIR. we passed It * way. and made it our centre and headquarters. when her. and stopped to visit was the Swami's second call on her. during the wanderings of the following months. as one villages returns upon that time. wearing the crimson coronet and white veil of Kashmiri peasants. its record is found in a constant succession of scenes of loveliness. Not the least of these pictures is the memory of handsome old woman. we proceeded to Srinagar in Kashmir. It would be easy to lose oneself here in the beauty of our journeys. For. partly by tonga. or of cathedral-rocks in and corn-embosomed the Jhelum Pass. where we spent a few days. We drove from Rawalpindi to Murree. 121 .

and had never tired of telling how. For-get-menots of a brilliant blue form the wild flower of the Kashmiri fields in commonest summer r - 122 . mother. "I thank saying farewell. a Mussulman !" I am Or I might tell of the avenue of lofty like Lombardy poplars outside Srinagar. old voice had rung out in triumph as she answered loudly and clearly. had received some small kindness at her hands the year before. Or of amaranth crops. by the mercy of the Lord. playing in reaped fields on moonlit evenings or talk of the red bronze I . our God. after this. of what her whole face had religion are you ?" and her lighted up with pride and joy. before And. when he had " asked. ment of the might linger over the harvest merrivillagers.IN NORTHERN INDIA. so the well-known picture by Hobbema. or the green of young rice under tall poplars at Islamabad. where we listened to discourse after discourse on India and the Faith.

How infinitely tender are the suggestions of those little iris-covered hillocks. crooks in hand. at twilight. or plum. and spreading a blanket for praying-carpet. but in autumn and spring. along the high banks of the river. I watched a party of Mussulman herdsmen. too. rounding off the rise of some road-side against the sky. the remains of the village orchards which the State. fields and river banks are violet-tinged with small purple irises. amidst grass and irises.APPLE-TREES AND IRISES. and one walks amongst their spear-like leaves as if they were grass. they they stopped awhile. as before them to their village. 123 . that mark the burial places of the Mussulman dead ! Here and there. driving a small flock of long-haired goats And then. a time. they proceeded to offer their evening-worship in the deepening dusk. came to a knot of apple-trees. all its subjects free of Walking here once. once upon trees. supplied to cost. one comes on groups of gnarled apple or pear.

beauty. suddenly burst into bloom. there ! no end of of these There in no end But good sooth it is not things that I am attempting. living itthe ciousness of full and torturing consthe anomalies and perplexities of the Modern Transition. in orthodox. a world that had thought to dismiss its very memory.IN Verily. simple. Sri Rama- self out." garden of a temple. but rather of glimpses vouchsafed to her of a great religious life of the ancient order. is heart. "like a flower. says . the ideal of the old time in India. in the course <of the present pages. Mine is the broken and faltering witness of one who is fain to tell not of geography nor of politics. amidst the all krishna had been. to speak. nor yet of the ways and customs of interesting peoples and unknown races. half-naked. NORTHERN my is INDIA. It was at once the greatness and the tragedy of my own Master's !ife that he was not of this 124 . as the Swami himself said living apart once of in the him.

might include the hope of men of the or it might reject That sudden revelation nineteenth century. We know Europe has passed on it all. pain of the dispossessed 125 and a will of maa . the of the mood in which man shine. world summed up art. Our last sixty our poetry. ancient light consciousness. but comes it face to face with all God might those questions and all those which are present to the thinkers and puzzles His hope workers of the modern world. and the growing sadness and . as to the the verdict that European mind. our science. type. which has been the first result of the limelight irradiation of facts by the organisation of knowledge. had been made to him also.THE MODERN DESPAIR. His was In the his modern mind in its completeness. shone on it could not pass by unheeded. for the years or more. of the misery and struggle of humanity as a whole. A in the growing satisfaction and vulgarity of privilege. are filled with the voices of our despair.

and at same time the pioneer and prophet of a new and future order of development. too noble and high to condone the evil. yet seeing no other way. Vae Victis ! Woe to the vanquished Is this also !" the verdict of the Eastern is wisdom ? ? If so. "To him that hath shall be given. yet too feeble to avert or arrest it. and from is true. In the place which a problem took in his mind in the past of India the I find evidence regarding its final solution which short of my own 126 definite arrival at . this is the of which our greatest minds spectacle are aware.IN NORTHERN INDIA. the culture of the West can but stand and cry. him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. I what hope in there life for humanity answer to find my I Master's see in an this question. him the heir to the spiritual discoveries and religious struggles of innumerable teachers and saints and the world. it Reluctant. wringing her hands.

I has its significance for the that modern on age. as he himself would have been the first to point out is of the And thinking thus. without added interpolation. I believe that each trace of those higher and uncommon modes of thought and consciousness to which he held the key. other lives. highest value to myself. believe by. its proper to pray only give always true witness.THE ANSWER OF THE EAST. unsoil in much which has passed myself will fall I comprehending. an opposite conclusion. And 127 . or falsifying colour.

Where others would talk of ways and means. throughout the years of my discipleship. he would show the itself. of which I cannot hope to give any description. appears to 128 me to have been . to have its roots deep in a yearning love of God. I thing wish here to be exceedingly explicit. to light a fire. as of a thing definite to and accessible. My own part. in an anguished pursuit of the Infinite. on reaching the mountains. I had heard of "the spiritual life" in Calcutta. and attained by I found following certain well-known paths. it.VI THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. For this was characteristic of our Master. be chosen deliberately. he knew how Where others gave directions.

ceived confessions. himself was. like that of a thought-reader. He on personal had re- many parts of the world. yet no one ever lived who more anxiously sought to escape the office of spiritual accession director. And since I believe that such an experience of my is subject to laws as definite as those of any physical force. to me. I must endeavour to describe accurately the conditions under which this happened subjects. claim that I can make is that I The only was able to enter sufficiently into the circuit something Master's energy to be able to give evidence regarding it from direct perception. in A hot flush and an his of delicate hauteur were immediate response. enquiries forced upon sometimes him in his 129 .PERSONAL RESERVE. even to such merely theoretical questions as appeared to him to of demand personal too intimate a revelation the heard I have experience. The Swami intensely reserved. of course.

and studying wards as she In all that year of 1898 I can remember only one occasion when the Swami invited me to walk alone with him for half an hour. liked. listeners that he would rather have endured a careless touch upon an exposed nerve. and listen. But the method entirely in training sit all proved all general. We as would together garden or to verandah. and then our conversation for it was towards the end of the summer. London classes as to such matters as the for ins- feeling which accompanies Samadki. together. when I had begun to understand my own position a little was rather of the policy and . the discourse of the hour.THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. each appropriating after- much as she chose. when it was clear to all tance. He had himself suggested my joining his travelling party. for the purpose of receiving his personal training for the work he wished of this me to do in India.

as it were. along which his ideas circulate and are received.THE DRAMA OF THOUGHT. aims of the future. or comrade . as brother. anything more Undoubtedly. Even a mathe- matician will succeed in impressing himself on his generation. only in proportion to the radiance of feeling on which his thought is carried. there are hid- den emotional relationships which form the channels. One holds himself as servant. In my own case . friend. ordinary minds cannot be made susceptible of a great religious impulse. than of subjective. and it is there boldly understood and accepted that without some such dramatisation of their own relation to it. But these expressions are wholly impersonal. another. and are appreciated by different receivers in very different ways. These things have been made into a perfect science in India. in the circle that gathers round a distinguished thinker. a third may even regard the master-personality as that of a beloved child.

and as such I was regarded by all the Indian the position people and communities. in Hindu religious literature. was my great good fortune that was at this time. interaction pathway of between some major and minor that I as on the heliograph. and it I Bengali and nanda. ultimately taken proved that most happy one of a spiritual daughter. after owed my and ideas ability there- to read and understand with a little of those feelings which re- the air about us was charged. The Swami Swarupananda had been 132 . before this and other things became clear to Master's my mind was wholly in bewilderment. in given me. the Swami Swarupahave always thought that it was to the fact that I found myself on the as the young monk known For I line of communication between his mind and that of our Master. as my daily teacher.THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. whom I met during my But at the beginning of these journeys. life.

had In the early and most chivalrous years of manhood he had witnessed a few instances of the injustice of life. seen bitter proof that the battle in this world was to the strong. The usual revulsion. familiar to all of us. within a few days of my own admission. that is to say. which is practically tantamount to the Christianity of the West. few weeks of probation. at the hands of the Swami. But he. ceived at the Monastery. in an idea of God as the kind and loving Lord and Preserver of men. in the chapel there. The story of his mental development traordinary interest to was of exme. 133 . For this man had been brought up in his childhood in the Vaishnava faith.THE SWAMI SVVARUPANANDA. had received the yellow cloth. after some to the vows of a novice. of an all-kind Providence. had been encountered. and of Krishna as the Saviour and Divine Incarnation. and taken the rank of a Sannyasin. and found himself unable to believe longer in the sweet myth of his One childhood.

to let in man such things happen ?" Two or three such experiences precipitated him upon a year of mental suffering so keen that health. grain by grain. words. he had reached the conclusion that thousands of Indian students have arrived at. if He existed. that had been jostled out of the woman bowl the her hand. It was henceforth impossible found to him to ima- gine' that the solution of ultimately be the problem might in any picture of God 134 . In other life.THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. he found a poor kneeling and crying softly. crying indignantly. would God be doing. by a passer-by. as. she picked up from the dust a handful of rice. And then found himself in his passionate "What the Devil pity. both before and since the time of Buddha. of these stories I remember. Passing through a crowded street one day. he never But he again knew perfect emerged from it in the peace that comes of a settled attitude towards He would break the dream.

kneeling before Him. in many ways. seated on a throne. to gain deliverance from the perception of to that opposites. Rather. as we know it. in the Hindu conception of as Mukti. of pain and pleasure. is this time on. his schooling of himreach the highest would appear to have become a passion. and to attain which life. he saw in the ignorance and selfishness of the mind itself. And 135 . And this illusion. permanent realisation of One-ness known. One came to underself to From stand. is made up. in any attitude or relation. and of those further dreams. most reading the Bhagavad Gita under his guidance. the source of all such dreams as this. of which the world. to reach the point of he determined to conquer utmost in- sight and certainty. of justice and injustice. long afterwards at I. and the soul of man.THE DREAM OF DUALITY. that the remaining years of his life in his father's house had been in al- most more severe than those spent monasteries.

now my prepossessions which was Suffering is often illogical. as I experienced at friendly saw the dream of a falling and beloved leader away from me. and the first of lessons doubtless is the destroying of self-sufficiency in the mind of the taught. and cannot attempt to justify by reason the deI gree of unhappiness which this time. the influence of the I Swami Swafor this began seriously the attempt at And if it had not been help of life one of the greatest hours of my would have passed me by. I can see now how much there was to learn. and how short was the time for learning to be. to our Master at this time can only be described as one of clash and conflict. was made able to conceive of what we call the love of God as a burning thirst. Almora. My relation his.THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. But I had been little prepared for that constant rebuke and attack upon all my most I cherished lot. 136 . meditation. Under rupananda.

my own And then a time came when one of the older thinking perhaps that such intensity of pain inflicted might easily go too far. There must be a going away be alone." Then he turned and saw that above change. however. with the Swami. as the days went by. He listened silently and went away. he turned to her and said. he returned. At evening. interceded kindly and gravely ladies of our party. silently hostile.and the picture of indifferent. one who would be at least and possibly. Fortunately retract it never occurred to me to proffered service. and into his voice as a sudden exaltasaid. and when I come back I shall bring peace.THE BIRTH OF PEACE. .us the moon was new. and finding us together in the verandah. that in this there would be no personal sweetness. . subs- tituting itself instead. with the simplicity of a child. I am into the forests to . but I was made to realise. "You were right. tion came he "See ! the Mohammedans think much 137 of the new moon.

Sri Ramakrishna had told his disciples that the when his his own great with a touch. in meditation. only that I And I have its told its may touch upon sequel. life !" Let us also with the new moon begin a new As the words ended.. on the physical plane. by this time kneeling before him.. the simple everyday in reality of the experience religious related the Hindu books on psycho- . to the recognition of which no egoistic reasoning had led me. Long.. I proved the truth of his prophecy.. It was assuredly a moment of wonderful sweetness of reconciliation. day would come beloved "Noren" would manifest gift of bestowing knowledge at That evening Almora. For alone. illusion that has been broken into fragments. I found myself gazing deep into an Infinite Good. It cannot restore an But such a moment may heal a wound.THE AWAKENER OF SOULS. he lifted his hands blessed. disciple. long ago. too. I learnt. story. and his most rebellious with silent depths of blessing.

And that I understood. logy. greatest for the first the teachers may in relation destroy in us a personal only order to bestow the Impersonal Vision in its place. time. 139 .THE BIRTH OF PEACE.

A daughter must not at any time act. that it must be one of personal service. This was not perhaps the only experience kind. I and germinate tell. Under these conditions. this cannot My own offerings in kind were limited to very brief and very occasionor al requisitions of the needle the pen. the thoughts of the master become as also heard seeds. and the whole incident of which the clue to formed a part gave me the attitude which the Eastern this attitude teacher demands of a disciple. Before all things must be one of passivity. in the mind of the pupil. but it was certainly the only one I of to its which need refer it in detail. as if in her father's house were too few servants Yet ! I do believe 140 for in some . said the Swami. I have it urged.VII FLASHES FROM THE BEACONFIRE. it is said.

Each will express his devotion in his own way. But devotion there be. his follower. feeling which people to of certain schools in the West devote the Church. life which seeks to base its spiritual itself. it will be remember- 141 . And message on We had at this time. It his achievement. which in may our bear beautiful fruit own The lives. or spiritual master. the Eastern disciple is called upon to render to his guru. this debt. invades dry-rot. Greatest of all gurus is he who must that realises most deeply the freedom of the to the uttermost it is disciple. believed. that mixture of perfect faith and adoring love. we may enter into spiritual and intellectual communion strange and with them. cases I have known its truth that by the loving performance of humble offices for those above us.THE WORSHIP OF THE GURU. is is he and which are the power behind the unpardonable sacrilege And a failure to acknowledge. or a repudiation of.

than the European idea that a man could not live alone for twenty years. in the hour of Nirvana. twenty years. ed. said the Swami. And though necessarily expressed with some exaggeration. Behind everything is felt to be that unutterworld. he could not be regarded as perfectly himself. in 142 . is but a childish interruption of the flow of thought. and re- main quite for sane. all its The aspects and relations. Nothing. become part of a society in which solitude was regarded as the greatest medium of selfdevelopment. are always calm. To Hindu thinking that it is we can all Self that only in silence and alone-ness drink so deep of the Impersonal the facets and angles of our per- sonal littleness are rounded out. is nevertheless essentially correct. the faces of the Buddhas.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON-FIRE. taken side till by side with the alone Indian notion that a man had been the contrast. Thus. the difference between Eastern and Western methods of thought. as by growth from within. better illustrated to his own mind.

of which the thing seen is so paltry and distorted an expression. in that it appeared self-evident to all of us. but as the perception of Oneness. I have always thought that this is the reason why steadiness and quiet and self-effacement are virtues so much more teristics central. as love or compassion Ultimate Source or heroism.HINDU VIRTUES. in than the more active and aggressive characprized in the West. it must be remembered. is so much gained. able fulness. can yet be consistently indifferent to our own personality. is And not thought of here. Human relations are too poor to tempt those who have bathed lations at in the wellspring of all such rethis the Ultimate Source. that far beyond any of the Saviours-made-visible. and that alone. being persons. wonderful summer of 1898. Every respect which we. then. though all these may be roads by which to reach it. in the Hindu conception. Under the domination of these ideas. were those 143 .

but And he at it !" As to make the power of silence illumination visible. on leaving them where they were. and said in a low discreetly near a pilgrims' voice. now and power !" again. For over and over . never to repersonal turn. wrong to manifest And even compassion of a Buddha there was memory of persons Even in the purity of Jesus there was manifestation in the ! ! This last thought seems to form a com- with Indian Sadkus. a strange monk came up to him." the "It Swami would is say. or.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON greater souls FIRE. who had entered into the Imand the Unmanifested. against Swami hundreds of obstreperous complainants. to power. "It is a sin even to think of the body. and retirement we had many opportunities of judging. Swamiji. "You have this you ought not to manifest once had them removed. for on one occasion when our tents had been pitched in- mon motive camp. and the was half-minded to insist.

leaving him no privacy. It to return if life unexpectedly. necessarily we. again the in society Swami would break away. it would now and then seem. were as straws carried on the Ganges of the Eternal Will. or the hidden hermit. he thought of. and would enter his boat and sit watching him. sometimes seemed as were an agony to him. in Never can I forget the disgust with which he turned on myself once. At any moment. He. and all that depended on him. a couple of years later.CONTEMPT OF THE UNREAL. At no time would one told it have surprised or us. life in the world might end for him. At any moment It might reveal Itself to him as silence. He grew nervous under the gaze of numbers of admirers who had heard of his great fame. had some us that to-day tomorrow he would be gone for ever. The life of the silent ashen-clad wanderer. This plan-less-ness was not an accident. . as the lover might think of the beloved. that we were now lis- tening to his voice for the last time.

religious customs consecrated by the faith of others. never knew. Plans !" he exclaimed in indignation. was only a few Catholic saints. We But always he returned from these lonely retreats with shining of radiance and peace. when I had offered him some piece of worldly wisdom regarding his own answer to a "Plans which he had brought for me to see. who had plans. "That is why you Western people can never letter ! ! create a religion If any of you ever did. it no Religion was never never preached by planners!" was. either one or many days.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON FIRE. of the Scala Santa in One of them speaks Rome as moving him 146 . To all the disciples of Ramakrishna. in the course of that pleasant summer-journey. and would not return to-day. in fact. He might be away. and ever-deepening utterance of knowledge. we were always liable to it As hear from the servants that the Swami's boat had left its moorings an hour ago. have great significance.

and the other Amarnath. before rising to his own greatest heights. Thus he one-d him- self with the people. my make the same offerings of milk and rice. spring at which the Divine Motherhood worshipped. a mountain-cave in which there is an ice-emblem of Siva. atic fashion.HOLY PLACES. when visiting holy places. humblest of the women The minutest rules of conduct. one is Kshir Bhowani. his But we also We desired to be taught to meditate. The ideal of the Order moreover. or tell his beads in the same manner. is to participate in the worship of the accustom- ed devotees in every detail. both secular and religious. summer were shrines. deeply. him on these would be scrupulously observed by occasions. in and begged to be systemallowed to . Thus I have seen own Master. as the about him. Two places in Kashmir are regarded as a is extremely sacred. And the most notable events of our pilgrimages to these two were ambitious.

tents were brought. October the twelfth. flashes from the beacon-fire of that life in whose shadow we dwelt. at Baramulla.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON FIRE. The pilgrimage to Amarnath had been made at the beginning of August. Once he had just returned from an absence. and make under definite direction. thirtieth Even apart from the greater revelations and experiences. it Agaia was evening. But we could see how intolerable was the thought of food. and we women-folk were 148 . and we camp- a week on the edge of a forest. where hours of silence. and our journey was over. in the beginning of ed for September. and the Swami left us for Kshir Bhowani on the of September. to one who was still liv- ing on the heights of the love of God. fell constantly upon us. For this season. make a retreat we might keep our attempts in some lonely place. and as he sat talking of bhakti. Finally we parted from him. at a place called Achhabal. a servant came to say his meal was ready.

it is a wail. we have a theory Universe is that the God's manifestation of Himself.THE COSMOS AS PLA Y. but it soon ended. chatting in ed on the approaching departure for Europe. "Why not ? touch hands and part with a smile so ! You are You worship morbid. when suddenly he came in to spend a few minutes with us. you Westerns sorrow All through your country I found that. The fun and frivolity are all on the surface : really. 149 . as we call- low tones. sad and gloomy on the outbut underneath are carelessness and merriment. The talk turned our hostess. but underneath. spoke of others would be missed. seated in the boat of Sthir Mata. how the The Swami turned so serious about on her with a wonderful gentleness. It ends In a sob. in the falling dusk. Social life in the West is like a peal of ! laughter. it is it is full of tragic intensity. "But why it ?" he said. and then one who expected to be left alone in India. here. "You know. Now side.

and it was of leadership that he talked. the real test. Say. Finally he said "I am persuaded. and 'It is all play. lies in holding widely 150 . thing turned and went out into the starlight. it And so ?" Just play with the Lord. He has to be born for it. For the difficulty is not in organisation. said One sat evening. And we also. of a leader. in the hush of the river. was mere play. while the other had been seen breaking up into its component parts. he then. our week of retreat. in goodnight and parted. the test. that the Incarnations lived here. both numbers and complexity. He began by comparing certain notable movements of the hour. It And passed into his own boat. of which one had grown daily during the lifetime of in its founder.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON FIRE. just for fun. Why was Christ of life. crucified ? It came and was all play.' Play. we under the great trees beside the stream. is all play. and making plans.' Do you do anywithout another word. that a leader is not made in one life. 'just for fun.

"I think I would a great deal rather come back and help the causes that interest me. it ! and here is an attempt to short still manifest The attempt Still. in response to something he had said about breaking the bonds of life. the talk And this can only be done unconsciously. go on You will interpret the ideal some day." "That's because you cannot overcome the idea of progress. gave this. as he ended. Somewhere is an ideal you. somehow for strayed to and someone asked an explanation of the doctrine of Ideas. falls ! in many ways. this." From Plato." . than achieve personal salvation. all He group in particular." "I cannot feel the longing to get out of life that Hindus feel.LIFE AND THE IDEA. and addressing one of the so you see. never by trying. of different people together. he said. along the line their common sympathies." said one on another occasion. "And this is but a feeble manifestation of the great ideas which alone are real and perfect.

"You forget your own part Yours is always the right to in this karma. them. rebel ! 152 . "But things do not grow the They remain as they were. who came him a question about karma. quickly. What were they to do. to see the strong oppress the weak ? The Swami turned on him in surprised indignation. and we better. "Why thrash the strong. ' grow by changes we make in them. by the changes we make in at Almora. whose to put to karma it was. "We grow I sentence has to myself the ring better. when we were remember a certain elderly man full with a face of amiable weakness. he retorted better. he asked. of course !" he said.FLASHES FROM THE BEACON FIRE. This last of a Veda." Similiarly.

three thousand people very or in Two would encamp a 153 . It was quiet and orderly and picturesque. Within our little party. to be full of pilgrims. Kashmir seemed. in those weeks. preparations went forward for this unique experience. IT in the was in the course of an open-air meal Mogul Gardens at Achhabal. for any obstacle to be put in the way of the fortunate member. and everywhere we saw all the march of gathering hosts. there was too much feeling of delight- ed congratulation. in charge of the journey. and final returned to our boats at Islamabad. and take his daughter with him. And aided thus. as well as by the State officer.VIII AMARNATH. that the Swami suddenly announced that he would go to Amarnath with the pilgrims. We left Achhabal. for arrangements.

and here one could buy dried fruits. generally placed near some advantageous spot for the lighting of the evening fire. with that of the Swami was on one side. They carried a bazaar trace with them. and opening of shops. field. milk. swarmed about him at every halting place. and rice. dahls. save the ashes of their cooking-fires. and my own on the other.AMARNATH. 154 . with their Gerrua tents. and leave of their It before dawn. A broad would run through the middle of one part of the camp. and the orders. and thus his neighbourhood social centre. the pitching of tents. of all some no larger than a good-sized umbrella. The tent sation street of the Tehsildar. amongst these. Organi- appeared to be instinctive. the Swami's influence appeared The more learned of them to be magnetic. with no occupation. took place with incredible rapidity. tended to form a There were hundreds of monks. and at each halting place.

conversation. throughout their attention to the world about them. in fact 'an anachronism of the J55 future'. was drenched with the blood of those who had died for the faith. The same other-worldliness that made Swadesh and bidesh indistinguishable. and they had remonstrated with him seriously. as became one who was. they urged. he told us light. were men. at least. afterwards.THE TALK OF SADHUS. Even foreigners. The soil of the Punjaub. on drawing filling his tent. when he had insisted. Here. they argued. had been all of Siva. also prevented these simple souls from formally conceiving of a unity. Why make such distinctions between Swadesk and bidesh ? Nor could many of them understand the warmth of his love and sympathy for Mohammedanism. the . occasionally. let him practise a narrow orthodoxy! In answer to this. in which Hindu and Mohammedan were but rival elements. and remaining absorbed in the hours of day The talk on their side.

and that no one had dreamt of objecting to their entering the Cave with the Hindu worshippers. had been Mussulmans. indeed. with a group of friends. and officers and servants of the pilgrimage. no one or anything incongruous surprising. and camped with it. can remember 156 . Swami made the moment that those practical concessions of were expressive of his love for the brethren. But. the foreign mind could not help. on the many ultimate arrival at the shrine. a place I famous for its holy springs. for that night. and drove his principles home to their minds with the greater force and vehemence. noting the paradox that the Tehsildar himself. with some amusement.AMARNATH. at Pawan. The Tehsildar afterwards. we caught up somewhere with the pilgrimage. Leaving Islamabad. begging formal acceptance by the came Swami seemed as disciples to find . and in this. as he told the tale of his warm discussions.

and over the mountain at its head was seen. And when the final three thousand of us ascended the valleys that opened before us as we went. at their gentlest and loveliest* Here we saw the last of human dwellings. pine-trees. and throngs of pilgrims proceeding in little groups from shrine to shrine. The first 157 . left the rest of our party encamped. for the bridge. not yet full. the At Pahlgam the village of the shepherds camp halted for a day. at sunset. It was the scenery of Switzerland or Norway. we grassy knoll. fields. Through scenes of indescribable beauty. yet the brilliance of the lights reflected in the clear black waters of the tank that evening. to keep It was a beautiful little ravine most part with sandy islands in the pebble-worn bed of a mountain The slopes about it were dark with stream. floored. the moon. with its ploughed here. a ekadasi. a farm house.VILLA GES. and a few on a march began.MO UNTAIN. saeter-huts.

on the face of steep declivities. came to an end. and we had At last the regular pathway to scramble up and down. The Swami had observed every the pilgrimage. He had beads. the next evening. like the waiting Presence of God. newly-fallen . in which the Cave of Amar- As we 'ascended this. we had passed the snow-line. to the awestruck peasants who first came upon it. as he told his rite of came along. at still greater heights. That night. along goat-paths. we nath was situated. and pitched our tents beside a frozen river. shone the great ice-lingam. kept fasts. in search of this scanty fuel. day we camped in a pine-wood the next. and bathed in the 158 . the servants had to wander many miles. itself. the great camp-fire was made of juniper. that [must have seemed. in a niche never reached by sunlight. till we reached the boulderstrewn gorge.AMARNATH. had before us the snow-peaks covered with a and in the Cave white veil. and .

the pilgrim-crowd. himself had willed was defeated or fulfilled that presentiment which had haunted him from childhood. as he entered the Cave. afraid lest three times. until he In this way. He said afterwards that in these brief moments he had received from Siva the gift of Amar. there was no Brahminic exploitation of the helpless people. possibly. and our 159 . and the overhead fluttering of the pigeons. ice-cold waters of five streams in succession. swarming noise of him. unnoticed overcome him. not to die. silently withdrew. And now. he knelt and prostrated two or and then. as if he saw Siva made visible before Amidst the buzzing. crossing the river-gravels on our second day. in a Siva temple amongst the mountains.THE SHRINE. But the pilgrimage culminates -on the great day of Rakhibandhan. Amarclose- nath is remarkable for its simplicity and ness to nature. Outside the Cave. he rose and emotion might . that he would meet with death. it. it seemed to him.

a like them. search of home when they came how they had " suddenly come upon Mahadev Of my Master himself. And for the rest of his he cherished the memory of how he had entered a mountain-cave.AMARNATH. wrists were tied with the red and yellow threads of that sacrament. to the valleys. before returning to our tents. one their day. first discovered. secret of Kailas. A party of shepherds. we some high boulders beside the stream. Then imagine how lost this Cave was flocks. long "I can well silent. The Swami was full of the place. rested and had a meal. The cavern had revealed itself to him as the life. of the ice-pillar had startled and enwrapt him. must have and wandered in here in summer jThen. and come face to face there with the Lord Himself. He sat he said dreamily. they told ! The purity and whiteness story was true. on Afterwards. in any case. He felt that he had never been to anything so beautiful. 1 60 .

suggested irresistibly the brow of the Great God. Each the step had seemed to draw us that closer to great snow-mountains were at once His image and His the home.IX KSHIR BHOWANI Everything the in our life up to the time of pilgrimage to Amarnath had of with the thought associated beerf Siva. externals. "above all qualities and] beyond the reach of thought. He is Divine accessible within. Above all. and purified of 161 . rapt and silent." Undoubtedly this Hindu idea of Siva is the highest conception of God as approached by the all the spiritual intuition of man. The young moon glacier-cleft resting at night-fall above the had tossing pines. had and Him as its heart and centre. that world of meditation on whose outskirts we dwelt.

If the all. it Supreme must be Infinite is thought of as by man there is at either Infinite Being or as Power. to always singing the songs of if Ram Prasad. is necessarily succeeded by the opposite conception of God as the power behind at least that all manifestation. any such must some imperceptible Swami's attention events. at all fact or not. this personification of the unmanifesting. that wherever he turned 162 .KSHIR BHOWANI It may possibly be. will be capable of understanding the significance. Whether In the law of nature behind the remain a speculation. appeared during the month of from Siva to the Mother. of every possible human symbol of the divine. that in the pursuit of uttermost knowledge. way. since all must be included in one or other of the two. as with the he would saturate his own mind He told conception of himself as a child. some of us once. It is clear he who has sounded the depths of both these. shift. He was August.

his absorption became bitterly more of the He malady of complained thought. good and evil that conception which forms the alike.THE PAIRS OF OPPOSITES he was conscious of the presence of the Mother. leaving him no time for sleep or rest. as if She were a person in the room. Hindu solution of the now he seemed to fasten his problem of sin. for instance." and some of the older of the party caught this. intense. and would often become as insistent as ' a stantly striven to human voice. when. however. It was always his habit to speak simply and naturally of ''Mother. but whole attention 163 . beyond pain and pleasure. which would consume a man. make clear He had con- to us the ideal of rising beyond the pairs of opposites. Gradually. so Mother that such phrases as "Well. well ! members best !" knows were a constant mode of thought and speech amongst us. some cherished intention had to be abandoned.

his lines manuscript on "Kali the Mother. the painful. at the express invitation of the Maharajah. evening that us. and found waiting for where he had called and left them. is Kali the pain. then acting as Resident. to choose a piece of land. with the determination to reach by this particular road the One Behind Phenomena. Kali ! And She ! is the Giver of Kali " ! said one day. and the inscrutable. Illness or pain would always draw forth the reminder that "She is the organ. in the world. when he had finished * He had come.* "the worship of the Terrible" now became his whole cry. 1 * Writing in a fever of inspiration. he and his fingers would not rest It they were written down. it could not even be discussed. he had fallen on the floor. Baffled as he found himself Kashmir. in the object of his visit to She pain. for the establishment of a math and SansBut his choice was twice vetoed. Thus for Council by Sir Adalbert Talbot. on the list of agenda krit college. till His brain was teeming with thoughts. we came back to our was that same houseboat from some expedition.KSHIR BHOWANI on the dark. 164 .


we learnt afterwards, own intensity.

exhausted with

The The
It is


stars are blotted out

clouds are covering clouds, darkness vibrant, sonant.

In the roaring, whirling wind, Are the souls of a million lunatics,
Just loosed from the prison house, Wrenching trees by the roots



from the path.


sea has joined the fray

And swirls up mountain waves, To reach the pitchy sky.
flash of lurid light

Reveals on every side A thousand, thousand shades


death, begrimed



Scattering plagues and sorrows, Dancing mad with joy,

Come, Mother, come


For Terror is Thy name. Death is in Thy breath.


every shaking step Destroys a world for e'er.
the All- Destroyer

Thou "Time"


Mother, come



dares misery love,
in destruction's dance,


And hug the form of death, To him the Mother comes.
this time,

he had taken

his boat

away from our





and only a young was also living in

Kashmir that summer, and whose kindness and devotion to him were beyond all praise, was allowed to know where he was, and
to enquire about his daily needs. The next the doctor went, as usual, but findevening








speaking, and the following day, September the thirtieth, he had gone, leaving word that he was not to be followed, to Kshir Bhowani,


the coloured springs.


was away, from



October the



coming back

In the afternoon of that day to us, up the river.

we saw him


stood in

front of the dunga, grasping with

one hand the


roof-pole, and with the other holding He entered our houseboat, yellow flowers. a transfigured presence, and silently passed from one to another blessing us, and putting

the marigolds on our heads. to Mother," he said at last,

"I offered


as he

ended by

handing the garland to one of us. he sat down. "No more 'Hari Om

It is all






with a smile.
tried to speak,


sat silent.

Had we

should have

so tense was the spot,


something that
his lips again.







gone. Everything




'Mother Mother




very wrong,"

he said

"Mother said simply, after another pause. to me 'What, even if unbelievers should








What Or do

you ? protect you ?'

that to


you protect ME ? So there is no more



only a



Then he spoke on



about the departure for Calcutta, which he desired to make at once, with a word or two
as to the experience



his perplexities of

mind had translated

"I themselves, throughout the past week. not tell you more now it is not in order," may

he said gently, adding, before "But spiritually, spiritually,




was not

bound down !" We saw very


of the



next few days.

Before breakfast the

him on the river-bank

next morning, indeed, two of us were with for a moment, when,

seeing the barber, he said "All this must go !" and left us, to come out again half-an-hour


Somehow, in ways later, without a hair. and words that could scarcely be recounted, came to us now and then a detail of that


by which, in the past week, such had come. We could picture

the fasting

and almonds

the offering of milk daily, in the spring



and the

morning worship of a Brahmin pundit's







the whole, meanwhile, in such a pas-

sion of self-renunciation, that not one


of reaction could be found in his consciousness for any injury, however great. man came one day to ask a question, and the Swami, in monastic dress and with


shaven head, happened to enter. "Ought one to seek an opportunity of death, in defence of right, or ought one to take the
lesson of the
react ?"



learn never
to him.


was the problem put


* It is perhaps worth while to say that for my own part I could never understand how this enquirer gathered this particular lessun from the Gita


no reaction," said the Swami, speaking Then he slowly, and with a long pause. added " for Sannyasins. Self-defence for

the householder


The mood seemed
and deepen.
'a crisis in


grow upon him,
this time once,


spoke of


self a child, seated

Again, he called himon the lap of the Mother,

and being caressed.


the thought


to us, unspoken, that these Her kisses might make themselves known to mind and nerves

as anguish, yet be welcomed with rapture of Did he not say "There could recognition. be bliss in torture"

As soon



could be arranged,



for Baramulla,

which we reached on Tuesday October the eleventh. It had
he would go on


settled that




some days longer. On the river, we saw very little of him.
almost entirely

we waited way down the

He was

and took long walks by

houseboat for a moment.
his return to India

the riverside alone, rarely even entering our His health had

been completely broken, by the labours of and the physical ebb of the great experience through which he had

just passed


even suffering becomes im-

when a given


point of weariness is and similarly, the body refuses to

harbour a certain intensity of the spiritual was leaving life for an indefinite period

him, doubtless, more exhausted than he himself suspected.

All this contributed, one ima-

gines, to a feeling that

none of us knew


and him

long a time

we might now be



this thought, perhaps, that


goodbye on Wednesday morning, as we finished breakfast, and made him stay
to say

to talk.



hour went by, that morning,






impression created, than to build






up again seemed


to be carried into an

innermost sanctuary.

Sometimes he would sing and


snatch or other of devotional poetry, always to the Mother. And it was always Kali, with

on the heart of Her worshipper, grew clearer to our minds though he dwelt much, and over and over again, on the




thought of the Mother, seated in the marketplace



playing amongst the



Her own




hundred thousand
only one or two.




and sorrows,"


quoted from his own verses,

"Dancing mad with joy, Come, Oh Mother, come For Terror is Thy name Death is in Thy breath.



every shaking step Destroys a world for e'er"



every word of



interrupted himself to say.




dares misery love.
in Destruction's dance,

And hug the form of death, To him the Mother does
have proved it. form of Death !"

indeed come.



have hugged the


spoke of the


There was

nothing to be desired, but the life of the wanderer, in silence and nudity, on the banks of the Ganges. He would have nothing.
he, that

"Swamiji" was dead and gone. he should feel responsible



for teach-

ing the world





and vanity.
only seen

The Mother had no need of him, but Even work, when one had he of Her.

was nothing but illusion. There was no way but love. If people sinned against us, we must love them till it was impossible for them to resist it. That



Yet, as


write the words,



well that

can give no idea of the vastness

of which







blow, to any in the world, could pass and leave our Master's heart untouched as if no



to that of death, could elicit


thing but love and blessing. He told us the story









descendants slain


and the king


and crownless, to live out his life. Then he pictured the hut standing in the moonlight, amongst the trees, and Vasishtha


He is poring intently his wife within. over some precious page, written by his great rival, when she draws near and hangs over him


a moment, saying, "Look, how bright is moon tonight !" and he, without looking

"But ten thousand times




the intellect of Viswamitra!"

All forgotten! the
children, his

deaths of his hundred
his sufferings,

own wrongs, and
lost in


his heart

of his foe

admiration of the genius Such, said the Swami, should be also, like that of Vasishtha for

Viswamitra, without
the slightest tinge of

personal memory.



of pear-blossom, and laid
table at

moment, a peasant brought sprays them down on the which we sat. And one of us lifted

them, saying, "Swami! these were made for worship, for they will bear no fruits!" But he

looked at her, smiling, and she could break the spell, to offer them.



so he went.



servants and

boat-people, friends and disciples, parents and children, accompanied him to the tonga on

the roadside, to say goodbye. One sturdy little figure, the four-year-old daughter of his chief boatman, whose devotion to him

we had long

noted, trotted determinedly at

his side, with a tray of fruit

his journey

on her black head, and stood, smiling fareAnd we, not less well, as he drove away.


than this




our grown-up infinitely of thought and emotion, knew not complexity


within whose radiance all our future would be passed.KSHIR BHOWANI when we should look upon his face again. yet failed not to realise that we had that day lived through hours. I7 6 .

We ourselves cannot gauge the 177 . in all its mixedness and complexity of ebb and flow. if one realised them. Others will refer his Some features to a central type. But still others are aware of a vast magazine of cause behind. We surely stand at and even their faults and many different grades of perception ! of us see and recognise only the form and the acts of a man. (his presence. against which a life stands out as a single fragmentary effect. their one un- highest. spoken purpose failings. at . and note on his external aspect the tide-marks of the will. THE Swami had one remarkable characHe made all who were near In its him appear great. saw and loved. would seem to be justified and accounted for.X CALCUTTA AND THE HOLY WOMEN teristic.

became myself one of the people. as the Swami's disciple. of the world into which I had entered. And it was characteristic of the Swami's methods. And thus enveloped by his interpretation. vision our own words Something after this fashion was the that grew upon me. on my arrival in Calcutta. without even the 1898. friendly intervention I open a girls' school in Calcutta. I saw him always in the midst of his own people. thus dominated by his passionate love of his own race. where the forms of men and women loomed larger than their wont. early in November During the months between that date and the following July. of a European home. It had been taken for granted from the that at the earliest opportunity I would first. it was like walking in some twilight of the gods. living with them in surroundings which his genius had created. that I had not been hurried in the initiation .THE HOL Y WOMEN knowledge that prompts and deeds.

to determine where I myself stood. Nivtdita. qualitatively to the work of the modern education of Indian women. Sister Christine. to explore the very world of which my efforts were to become a part.a the experiment which I made in 1898 to 1899.. was gathered ** / y own education. save to make some would be which educational discovery true and universally applicable. and help the whole work for Indian *It must here be pointed out that the school in question proved ven more tentative than I had imagined. and her faithfulness and initiative.* Others. when opened. But I had no definite plans or expectations. alone. and I had heard point of the learner. To myself it was at clear that this school. The one thing that I knew was. women was taken up and organised by an American disciple. that an educational effort must begin at the stand- him to development in his own way. and to her.A GIRLS' SCHOOL ^of this work. however. it owes all its success up to the present. but had been given leisure and travel and mental preparation. must I first be only tentative and experimental. F-. had to learn what was wanted. 179 . had probably thought more largely of the matter. In the autumn of 1903.

THE HOLY WOMEN much above as to all sects. solved once for on a certain evening in camp. above all. spelling out my method and urging. and the usefulness of sects. He 80 . begging to be freed from collaborators. in Kashmir. turned to me. .to which he would give as I his chose to make name. The Swami this matter. he might have been the disciple and 1 the teacher. as we all sat in a circle about the log-fire. Only in one respect was he inflexible. the education of Indian The work for women. the necessity of a definite religious colour. and asked me what were now my plans for the school. listened and accepted. in the forest when the Swami of Vernag. "You wish through a all sects. I replied eagerly. the desirablity of holding myself But all these questions were all. might be as sectarian it. to be allowed to begin in a small way. far as his loyalty went to every in thenceforth. and as wish of mine." sect to rise beyond had been his sole reply to this part of 1 my statement.

" as she is called amongst us was living close by. in the beginning of November. as happened. and It it was safer to go long unaided start. in Calcutta. that . or "the Holy Mother. then. on the other hand. insisted once there. with insular on being made the guest himself of the women. at a sort of parishroom of the Order. from the station to the north end of But rigidity. therefore. with her 181 . Devi.A GUEST SELF-INVITED withdrew. at the first my side. I I was able to find my way at once. the negotiations were carried The widow of Sri Ramakrishna Sarada on. the name sign of hesitation on of an Indian lady whose But he would not help had been proffered. Through him. -ocean of Indian character I had as yet no plummet. countenance my own seeking of assistance amongst the few For the acquaintances I had already made. I than to commit an error at the was to carry out this plan.arrived in Calcutta alone. the town. it The Swami was staying.

I could not have I acted as did.THE HOLY WOMEN community of ladies and in the course of theday. This is one of the occasions on which people look back. Indian lady's hospitality. It is difficult to see how else a neces- sary solution could have been found. feeling that their courage was providentially determined by their ignorance. Yet had I deeply understood at the time. . At any cost. but also on her kindred in their distant I village. I was accorded possession of an empty room in her house. however. it must in that I case have withdrawn. the degree of social embarrassment which my rashness might have brought. As was. fortunately. against habits some supposed uncleanness of foreign myself upon this In the event. the Swami's- 182 . and thus cheerfully assuming all the ignorance to be on her side. imagined caste to be only a foolish personal which must yield to knowledge. not only upon my innocent hostess.prejudice. confidently forced .

with its row of mats. and I was accept ed by society. But even then. for sleeping-quarters. of which I now found myself a part. against the polished red earthenware of the floor.THE MOTHERS HOME influence proved all-powerful. 183 . and a Brahmin cook. pillows. the hot weather came. in one of the guard -rooms beside the front-door. lived a monk. whose severe austerities. To his room I used to go. In the kitchen behind. but shared the cool and simple dormitory of the others. And her when was by her to express command that I returned better-arranged house. from his youth up. a house in the close neighbourhood was found all for me. and nets. Within a week or ten days. had brought him to the threshold of death. It was a strange household. for Bengali lessons. Downstairs. And then I occupied no room apart. from consumption. it I spent my afternoons in the Mother's room. worked a disciple of his. in the prime of manhood.

From that time she lived faithfully by his side for many years. then. with her mother's foot from her made her way on village-home to the temple of Dakshineswar on the Ganges-side. Of the head of our little community. She was young when her tutelage began and in hours of quiet talk. but spoke of the ideals of the life he had adopted to . was eighteen how she permission. and the sight of the Ganges hard by. and appeared before him. it seems almost presumptuous history at five. How she was wedded till and forgotten by her husband . and how him she responded by bidding him Godspeed life. she will tell 184 . speak. at once nun and wife. and always chief of his disciples. while to us women-folk belonged all abovewith roofs and terraces. in a building in the same garden. is to Her she well-known. how he remembered the bond.THE HOL Y WOMEN stairs. told of her many these things have been times over. in that and asking only all be taught by as the Guru.

story that is told of this period of her is of her bringing to him a basket of and vegetables one day. he loved grace and beauty and gentle dignity of bearing. and notwithstanding severe asceticism. during could not endure squalor. very devotion to My God will So take wings." he said. He its appurtenances. sometimes in how many directions his train- ing extended. One life. for myself!" said her sunshine gone. crying quietly. Yet one of her 185 .SKI RAMAKRISHNAS LOVE. and said "But why so fruit extravagant ?" it the young wife. and taught her even such trifles as where to keep her lamp and the day. you. He looked at it gravely. with all the eagerness and pride of a happy child. But this Sri Ramaone of krishna could not bear to see. and she turned and all "At least was not went away. He was a great lover of order. if I see her weep !" dear she was to him. turning to the boys beside him. "Go. in sudden disappointment. "And bring her back.

or her place closer. and not one word of her uttering ever conveys the slightest trace of self-assertion with regard to him. Yet so deeply is would. save for her faithfulness. through loud and shine. One who did not pect. instance. know who she was. Her very presence is to them a consecration. that her right was stronger. occupy when travelling with her. would never sus- from speech of hers. who To me it has always appeared that she is- Sri Ramakrishna's final word as to the ideal 186 . for a railway berth above her. She stands like a rock. in the disciple. that there she reverenced by is not one of them all about her. as those about her tell." is the name she calls him by. But "Guru Deb !" "Divine Master. than that of any other of those about her.THE HOLY WOMEN most striking traits is the absolute detachment with which she speaks of the husband she worships. It would seem as if the wife had been long ago forgotten. for the fulfilment of every word of his.

civilisation. however complex might be the question put before her. the stateliness of her courtesy and her great open mind are almost as wonderful as her sainthood. Her life is one long stillness of Her whole experience is of theocratic prayer. Or is . I have never known her to large new or hesitate. or the beginning of a new ? In her. ness to which the simplest of women may And yet. Yet she rises to the height of every is situation. Is she tortured ? by the perversity of any about her The only sign upon a strange quiet and intensity that comes her. Does one carry to her some or mortification perplexity born of social ? developments beyond her ken With un- erring intuition she goes straight to the heart of the matter. But is she the last of an old order. in giving utterance and generous judgment. to myself. one sees realised that wisdom and sweetattain.THE IDEAL WOMAN of Indian womanhood. and sets the questioner in the true attitude to the difficulty.

with her and much of her Ramayana. "Can't you see. "full of music. all And the room wherein she playfulness. speaking literally of her gift of song. But it is Yet an not to be sup- posed that she uneducated woman. whom she may condemn. for so to The novice years many beg his bread." said Sri Ramakrishna. He who <:ode of delicacy and honour. will leave the place within the hour. secular and reli188 . Not only has she had long and arduous experience in administration." all gentleness.THE HOLY WOMEN there need for severity ? No foolish senti- mentality causes her to waver. withal. has transgressed her will never enter her presence again. is read. to one who had erred in some such way. as one of her spiritual children said of her. The Mother can time is passed she does not write. with sweetness. is filled worships. "Can't you see that the woman in !" her is wounded ? And that is dangerous And yet is she.

the Mother and her party expressed a desire to rest in the chapel. to think of observing her in the contrary position. visiting most of the chief places of p ilgrimage. and hear something of 189 .Day. in I But first realised this gift in the Holy she Mother. however. when with her. development that it is possible toAt every moment. And it must be remem. in striving to learn what she re- presented. after going over our whole house. bered that as the wife of Sri Ramakrishna she has had the highest opportunity of pe sonal enjoy cious great. on the afternoon of a certain Easter. she bears unconswitness to this association with the nothing perhaps does it speak more loudly than in her instant power ta penetrate a new religious feeling or idea. I had always been too much absorbed. On this particular occasion. Before that. probably. on the occasion of a visit that paid us in recent years.SARADA DEVI'S CULTURE but she has also travelled over a gious great part of India.

This was followed by Easter music. With much fun and laughter. it has all the strength and certainty of some high and arduous form trait of scholarship. to describe to her a European wedding. one of the most impressive aspects of the great religious culture of Sarada Devi. But in her. The same power is seen to a certain extent. personating now the "Christian Brahmin. one in the little circle. we 190 . unimpeded by any foreignness or unfamiliarity in them. and Holy Mother asked my Gurubkag'uti myself. and the depth of her sympathy with these resurrec- tion-hymns. The same evening. we saw revealed for the first time. who were touched by the hand of Sri Ramakrishna. and singing.THE HOL Y WOMEN the meaning of the Christian festival. with our small French organ. the came out midst of her again. in all the women about her. when." and again the bride and bridegroom. swiftness of her And in the comprehension.

pared for the effect of the But we were neither of us premarriage vow.Mother. till death us do part. the widows in the and they disciples of Sri and the last childhad all been personal Ramakrishna when he lived first temple garden at Dakshineshwar. But none appreciated them as did the Mother. "Oh the Dharmmi words! the righteous words!" she said. or Lakshmididi as the Indian form of her name. and in health. ?. and a number of others. Amongst Sarada the ladies who lived more of or less continuously in the household Devi at this time were Gopal's Mother. for richer for poorer. Again and again she had them repeated to her.THE MARRIAGE VOW complied. Jogin. Sister Lucky." were words that drew exclamations in sickness of delight from all about us. These were all widows. "For better for worse. is Sister Lucky. Rose-Mother. was indeed a niece of A is still a comparatively young his. 191 .

as she poses the different members of the Now party in groups for religious tableaux. gifted She is religious teacher and widely sought after as a director. or yet again. according tothe ladies. another time it will Krishna under arrange. perhaps. and making all around him realise the utmost meaning of the prayers and worship uttered in the poetry. out of one of the Jatras. his kadamba tree. or again she will make the quiet room ring with gentle merriment.THE HOL Y WOMEN woman. it is Kali. taking the part of each player in turns. who would sometimes himself. be Jagadhattri. and again Saraswati. that she will with picturesque effect and scant dramatic material. and is a most and delightful companion. 192 . Sometimes she repeat page after page of some sacred dialogue. will or religious operas. by approved of. said. in reciting religious plays. Amusements it is like these Sri were much Ramakrishna. spend hours.

fifteen or twenty years before. She had already been old. How true she always was to this! Never once through all the years that followed. who took her thenceforth as I mother. ship had And for she. away 193 at Kamarhatty. one day at noon." In the months spent with the Mother and her sometimes be for in ladies. M . did she offer salutation to Sri Ramahis krishna. the been many Babe Krishna. which I "my daughter-in-law. He received her. from her cell at Kamarhatty. as she drew near. the Christ-Child of Hinduism. as in a vision. by the Ganges-side. as if he expected her. and sometimes. And never have known her save as to speak of our Holy Mother. weeks together. Gopaler-Ma would Calcutta. whose chosen woryears Gopala. so they say.GOPALER-MA Gopal's Mother was an old old woman. to see the Master in the garden at Dakshineswar. saw Him revealed to her. standing at his door. when she had first walked over.

in a little room. a few of us went. lived and told her beads. to bathing-ghat. And her room her only in and were all that she could give hospitality. and her comforts. for many a year. pot that hung from the roof by a few cords. past the the cloister-like verandah on the right. one full-moon night. steps rising out of the water. washed 194 . where. But the place was spotlessly clean. on and on! And flight how beautiful seemed the long of up. floor of stone.THE HOLY WOMEN There. How beautiful as the little boat crept was the Ganges. built probably in the first place for some servant of the Gopaler-Ma had great house at its side. and leading through its lofty terraced lawn. was absolutely without Her bed was of stone. had to be taken down from a shell and unrolled. The handful of parched rice and sugar-candy that formed little The own great house was empty now. to visit her. were taken from an earthen store. and the piece of matting she offered her guests to sit on.

moving and whispering in a dreamBut nothing could world of white marble. never to return ! In Calcutta. day and night. "this the the old India that you have seen. is when he heard "Ah !" said of peace. day after day. hand lay an old copy of the Ramayana. perhaps a little more than others. Gopaler-Ma had become a saint! Hour after hour. for how many years. " that is passsing away. the natural shock to 195 . had she sat. like this little cell of as. and the little white bag containing her beads. seem so dream-like. and by her great horn spectacles. of vigils and fasts.BY THE GANGES-SIDE constantly Ganges-water of her own And in a niche near her sturdy carrying. India of prayers and tears. busy hurrying world. in the midst of our the thought of spots Gopaler-Ma. of the visit. enshrining her silent intensity the Swami. absorbed in them ! The trees radiant white moonlight made the and flowers outside seem like black shadows. Gopaler-Ma felt. On those beads.

great days. she was generosity itself. one and another rose quietly and sat on the sleeping-mat. between her own hermitage on the Gangesbank. the Mother and one other would be carried down till to the river in a palkee. Ganges-water and 196 . there can have to her consciousness.THE HOL Y WOMEN habits of eighty years' standing at having a European in the house. never. and face Then came the cleans- On ing of the rooms and personal bathing. The days were full of peace and sweetness. little stubbornly prejudiced. been difference. turned to the wall. Long before dawn. the time was spent in read- ing the Ramayana. But once over-ruled. were now removed. and this arrived. from which sheets and pillows beads in hand. Conservative she : always was As far as the daily life went. with all the younger women busy over lights and incense. and the conventual round of the Mother's household. Then came the Mother's worship in her own room.

with end of all worship. the beginning and The petually Indian home chanting the thinks of itself as perbeautiful psalm of little custom. Each of us would prostrate before image or picture. in the would as this hour The preparation of fruits and vegetables. the servant going by the door with the light- would ed lamp would break in upon our chat. there to learn those salutations to the Guru which formed. To it.THE MOTHER'S WORSHIP flowers and aid. meal and the restful afternoon noon-day pass. every act and detail of household method. and touch the feet of Gopaler-Ma and the Mother. and personal 197 habit is . and again as evening drew on. like a daughter. Groups would break up. Even Gopaler-Ma came round. and sit beside the Mother at her evening-meditation. her. or . near the basil-plant on the terrace and fortunate indeed was she who from this was permitted to go. accompany the latter to where the light was placed. offerings.

not only with a different equipment of associations. and herein lies is im- this. and with the worship of motherhood. cover it. for sufficiently outside his the simple reason that no one can place himself own consciousness to find out that others were born. handed down from the past. to make the guiding and restraining force of the whole Indian character. and many things were made easier 198 . however. and passed on to the future. but also with a different instinct as to their value. worships simplicity. The East one of the main reasons why vulgarity possible to any Eastern people. I was able to disFortunately. at But no one can point out such a secret as the moment when one needs it. by watching the Swami. an eternal treasure of the nation. to be kept unflawed. and puzzling over the contrasts he unconsciously presented. This mode of thought is interwoven with the passionate quest of ideal purity.THE HOLY WOMEN something inexpressibly precious and sacred.

all these things he appeared to regard as a veritable consecration. But these things had not shaken his reverence for the conventionalities of his own country.THE SWAMI AND CUSTOM No one thereby. green leaf instead of a plate. to The plain white veil of the widow was him the symbol of holiness. or delicacy and modesty adorned in the evening costumes of the West. He had learnt that ''custom was nothing" when he had met with ideal womanhood and faith amongst polyandrous peoples. aware that character was ever more clearly was everything." yet phrased it. eating with the fingers. as he that "custom was nothing. none could be more carried away than he by the perfection and significance of all with which he was familiar. Each of them whisp- 199 . and the imagination of a prophet. The gerrua rags of the the mat on the floor for a bed. To the customs of his own people he brought the eye of a poet. the use of the national costume. or. as well as sorrow. the sannyasin.

inasmuch as. would also to think all heaven lay in sharing Thus he taught melodious in their defeat. but in some sort of fashion. My little school was begun on the day of Kali Puja. the very conquest of the world . with a passion of loyalty that would achieve if it could. Those months between November 1898 and June 1899. even while following.Mother. feeble with them. were full of happy glimpses. She 'prayed that the blessing of the great Mother might 200 . me sing the and faltering song. And he answered for them. and the Mother herself came and performed the opening ceremony of worship. yet unison with its own great choir. spoken aloud by Rose. At the end. she gave a whispered blessing. it is true. but failing. it for the could bring of a nation's ideals and a nation's heart. tion I learnt to listen through the revela- music.THE HOL V WOMEN pered to him some secret of or spiritual power human tenderness.

is to me a benediction that makes content. and on the opposite bank of the river. five or six miles out of Calcutta. on his frequent visits to town. and the girls it should be ideal girls. that there was any special his smallest Even that 201 . he would almost always send for at the me to join him.THE DAILY ROUND train be upon the school. special effort to offer hospitality at actions often had a was not evident to a new eye. he would always make a Belur.' And somehow to know an undertaking is that remembered and fraught with prayer in the lofty mind and heart of our Mother. when he came to me one day and asked me to cook for him a certain invalid dish. meaning I did not dream. either noon or evening meal. and to those who showed me kindness. The Swami lived commonly at the monastery. But. spoken over the educated Hindu womanhood of the future. I cannot imagine a grander omen than her blessing.

The same purpose spoke definition of the aims of the Order of Rama" to effect an exchange of the highkrishna est ideals of the realise East and the West. And when I heard afterwards that on receiving it. The aim of his whole life was. and special appropriateness 202 .THE HOL Y WOMEN intention in the request. as he had said to me. as a foreigner. "to in make Hinduism and Islam. he had himself eaten very little. being at that time unaware of the almost sacramental nature of this act. It was many months before I learnt to understand the deep forethought and kindness with which he and also the Holy Mother on his bewas constantly working to make a place half. for me. and which he sought again in his " aggressive. I was only disappointed. and to " these in practice a definition whose perfection. in Kashmir. in Hindu society. like Christianity this was one of the ways to realise that ideal. preferring to share it with those about him.

To prove her this. self-directing. 203 . he relied on no force but that of The building of the temple of was all-important. the preacher of a distinct message amongst the nations. wherever they might be found. grows on one with time. not with an eye to the intellect. For himself. or power of attraction. the responsibility was to choose sound bricks. pardoning and reconciling. And he chose. his faith for it however. worked the tendency and drift of things. Hinduism was not to remain a stationary system. fearless of the new. wise.HINDUISM PROGRESSIVE to the present circumstances of India. To his mind. but a single living Mother-Church. character. She was no congeries of divided sects. was true but and with it . but to prove herself capable of embracing and welcoming the whole modern development. merciful. Above all she was the holder of a definite vision. eager for the love of her children. recognising all that had been born of her. it there was infinite time.

and. Once accepted. so to speak. than as an offering to God. all was the same not mukti but renunbut self-abandon- ciation. the ideal put before . "and follow Him. of those who were chosen. them ment. as if guidance. May one of them never forget a certain day of consecration. who was born life and gave His TIMES. and then made the whole culminate in an offering of " flowers at the feet of the Buddha Go thou. as it seemed. not self-realisation. he first taught her to perform the worship of Siva. It was the human motive that he asserted to his disciples. And this rather. " ! he addressing in one person each separate soul that would ever come to him for said. in the chapel at the monastery. but always for a certain quality of simple sincerity.THE HOL Y WOMEN or volume of force. again. as the opening step in a life-time. before for others FIVE HUNDRED He attained the vision of the Budddha " ! 204 . for that alone. when. on behalf of man.

' In his youth. Spiritually that there were two elements in his consciousness. if it contained no mention of his worship of the speaking.XI "THE SWAMI AND MOTHER- WORSHIP. and pre- sumably when he had already been some time under the influence of Sri Ramakrishna. he had developed the power of entering Samadhi. as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa so frequently insisted. Undoubtedly he was born a Brahmajnani. sitting at his play. The religious ideas to- wards which he naturally gravitated. I have always felt Mother. When he was only eight years old. the very reverse of those which are commonly referred to as 'idolatrous. were highly abstract and philosophical. 205 . The story of the glimpses which I caught of this part of the Swami's life would be singularly incomplete.

MOTHER. And yet. by side with this. The reali- sation of Brahman was his only imperative. he was not always good. Like other children. In England and America he was never known that to preach anything depended on a special form. the Vedas and Upanishads his sole scriptural authority. as we of one the household life.WORSHIP he became a formal member of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. own life had acted as a "And mind!" he added suddenly. on sid a that in India the his lips. Sometimes he would be naughty and rebelBut always to Her. turning with what was almost fierceness up- 206 . he a prayer to Her that veritable his charm. it is also true word "Mother" was forever in He deeply familiar spoke of Her. attribute to befell. any other. Never did he lious. the good or evil that On a certain entrusted to a disciple in solemn occasion. the Advaita philosophy his only system of doctrine. He was constantly preoccupied with Her.

"make Her listen to you. gathered. all a mistake to hold that men many Quite as is the motive. flashes the blood-red of Kali. ''Her would be the sudden exblessing clamation that ended a long reverie. and with once. The right hand raised in on the ! blessing. when you say it! None of'that cringing to Mother Remember !" Every now and then he would break out with some new fragment of description. in such moments as almost every line and syllable of a certain short psalm. half-lyric in "Deep in the heart the intensity of his of hearts of Her knife own. worship Terrible he was "It is continually saying.THE TERRIBLE receiver. called the 'Voice of the lished Mother. the left holding the sword. pleasure are born to seek after 207 . Or curse is ! " becoming feeling.' which this I wrote "I and pubthe about !" time. in Her incarnation of the sword!" From him was these. Worshippers of the Mother are they from their birth.

the actual facts of the more austere side of Kali-worship." the Terror for Its own He ishness. Let us worship sake. as he might have done. pain. to complete the picture ?" was his objections. that ment. when I came to him with my difficulties about animal sacrifice in the temple. to the fact this. difficulty that And it only direct reply to my was with considerable I elicited from him. He told 208 .WORSHIP. under the modern system. sitting near. He made no re- ference. that side which has transcended the sacrifice of others. regarding the degradation of the butcher and the slaughter-house. most of us. as he easily might have done. and from another disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.MOTHER. 'Why not a little blood. loudly as we may attack have no hesitation in offering animal He offered no argusacrifice to ourselves. had a whole-hearted contempt for what he regarded as squeamishness or mawkHe wasted few words on me.

and call Thee the 'the Merciful ' " ! And as he spoke. 209 . it followed that the one thing he could not away with was any sort of watering-down of the great conception. as he dwelt in "Fools ! quiet talk on "the worship of the Terrible". terror. and then start back in terror. sorrow. as in that which makes for sweetness and joy. and he had no place for it. or God in the volcano. " he exclaimed once. on "becoming one with the Terrible" "Fools! they put a garland of flowers round Thy neck.NO DEVIL-WORSHIP me however that he had never tolerated the blood-offering commonly made to the "demons who attend on Kali. being constantly to banish fear and weakness from his own consciouseffort His own ness and to learn to recognise THE MOTHER as instinctively in evil. without a heart for God in the earthquake. and annihilation. to Providence. underlying egoism of worship that is devoted to the kind God." This was simple devil-worship. the consoling Divinity.

was in fact the determination. to become one with the Terrible for It evermore !' would have been altogether inconsistent with the Swami's idea of freedom. One saw that at bottom. to have sought to impose his own conceptions on a disciple. as the Hindu merely 'shop-keeping.' and one real- ised the infinitely greater boldness and truth of the teaching that God manifests through One saw that evil as well as through good. 'to seek to hurl oneself upon the sword's point.MOTHER WORSHIP overwhelmed the such worship was calls it. in the stern words of the Swami Vivekananda. the true attitude for the mind and will that are not to be baffled by the personal self. listener. But everything in my past life as an educationist had contributed to impress on me now the necessity of taking on the Indian consciousness. death not life. and the personal perplexity associated with the memory of the pil- grimage to Amarnath was a witness not to 210 .

"Exfor a ! moment. he was. and suddenly at "Perhaps. "Well ! press it in your own way !" Another day he was going with the old Maharshi Devendra visit 211 me to Nath . a born educator.A BORN EDUCATOR be forgotten to the strong place which Indian systems of worship held in that consciousI set myself therefore to enter into Kali worship. in a new race. And in matters religious. glimpse after glimpse. as one would set oneself to learn a new language. by step. He never checked a struggling thought. Swamiji. without know- ing it. I began to comprehend a little. Being with him one day when an image of Kali was brought in. Kali is the Vision of Siva Is She ?" He looked ! noticing said some passing expression. I me it in Well Express your own way. berately." he said gently. fact I as To this perhaps. or take birth deli- ness. owe it that I was able to understand much as I did of our Master's life and Step thought.

had been present the night before. that religions were only languages. they were to remove their shoes. that if position in the matter of was about to lecture at the Kalighat. tioned in the seclusion of his home in Jorasanko.MOTHER WORSHIP Tagore. I told him eagerly of the sudden realisation that had come to me. Paramahamsa was the He was the only only man who taught that up at the thought. and we must speak to a man in His whole face lighted his own language. and he came to instruct me any foreign friends should wish to be present. 2 12 . 'And Ramakrishna ! man who we must speak language !" ever had the courage to say that to all men in their own it Yet there came a day when he found necessary to lay clearness his down with unmistakeable I own Mother-worship. like the rest of the audience. and before we me he quesabout a death-scene at which I started. and sit on the floor. "Yes !" he exclaimed.

he lingered before going. He did not understand that to us who stood about him. in anything else !" He was ual difficulty evidently afraid that my intellect- would lie where his own must have done. he was himself the re- conciliation of these opposites. therefore. No one has any respect for a man who cannot stand for the dignity and sacredness of his own place of worship.KALI AND VEDANTA In that Presence no exceptions were to be made. making a shy reference to Colonel '. * Following up this train of thought. he dropped into In no temple anywhere. N. however. ought there to be any exception. this. 'Guardian Angels sely Hay's poem of the he said. and the wit- ness to the truth of each. " That is preci- my ! gods and not I position about Brahman and the believe in Brahman and the gods. in the incompatibility of the exaltation of one definite scheme of worship with the highest Vedantic theory of Brahman. 213 .* I was myself to be responsible for After saying all this. and then.

His greatness had felt his wonderful love All that came not dawned on me then. But had to accept Her at last ? Ramakrishna Paramahamsa dedicated me ta Her. and sat for a while disjointedly. and now I believe that She guides me in every little thing I do. I" he said. At that afterwards. as if held by trying to make some ''And spell he could not break. " then I too had to accept Her "No. answering questions.MOTHER WORSHIP a mood of talking half-soliloquy. you see. yet always halfabsorbed in something within. I "How all used to hate Kali ! Her ways I my six years' fight. And seeing visions and the rest. and does with Yet I fought so long me what She will I loved him. when I had given in. was the ground of That that I would not accept Her. the thing that made me do it is a ! ! ! 214 . himself clear. and that was what I saw his marvellous purity I held me. time I thought him a brain-sick baby. always I hated it.

I cannot but believe that there is somewhere a great Power That thinks 215 of . "The future. his children were as misfortunes at that time It ! nothing to him... Not more than six months did he keep his own health and brightness.' And were the very words Ramakrishna Paramahamsa made me over He lived only two years to Her. you know. Strange after doing that. Those tunity 'a slave of you. I think there's no doubt that She worked up the body of Ramakrishna for Her own ends. And he passed over all his own family. he came upon the boy and then he could die. you say. looking for the one disciple to whom he would give his power. '* You see.THE DEDICATION secret that will die with me. will call Ramakrishna Paramahamsa an Incarnation of Kali ? Yes. I had great was an opporShe made a slave of me. to whom he gave till it. and most of the time he was suffering. "Guru Nanak was like that.

of the past experience of that soul that dwelt within him.. the many ! brain-centres. coming out of samadhi. turning to his chief disciple. Noren Thus we are admitted to a glimpse of the 216 . And I believe in Brahman too . "He who came as Rama. and Mother... and called Kali. as Krishna. it the One.. that produce consciousness?. he had returned from a pilin Kashmir saying " These gods are not merely symbols! They are the forms " that the bhaktas have seen And it is told ! of Sri Ramakrishna that he would sometimes speak. Unity And why should it in complexity Just so ! be different with Brahman It is ? It is Brahman. ' ! "But not in your Vedanta sense. not the one. !" And yet and yet is the gods too grimage Similarly. as Jesus dwells here" and then would add playfully.MOTHER WORSHIP Herself as feminine.But is it not always like that ? Is multitude of cells in the body that it not the make up the personality.

the conversation related I have marked an epoch. or Brahman the Mother. For my own part. as a subjective realisation. for the correlation and mutual adjustment of the different realisations of different times. It is clear enough that in the end. We are reminded of the Swami's own words.THE TRUST CARRIED struggle that goes on in great souls. Ever since it took place. on the other side Brahman. heard long ago. in any particular case. seen through the mists of sense. depending on the destiny and the past of the worshipping soul. One of the two must melt into the other. either the Mother must become Brahman. 217 . " The impersonal God." In truth it might well be that the two ideas could not be reconciled. Both conceptions could not be equally true at the same time. On the one side the Mother. is personal. I have thought I saw in my Master's attitude a certain element of one who carried for another a trust confided to him. the question of which.

in the end. the 218 victories. similarly.MOTHER WORSHIP would always. verily. to my own mind. and the . And yet. and many changes. He And this. their hearts will return to the an- cient wisdom. speak of it as the book of experience. that dream. through new life and knowledge. when asked to explain the image of Kali. by avoid" ing action. Kali the Mother to be In Her the worship of the Indian future. can a man rise to this inaction ! May we not. is is the final explanation. know for a certainty that not without going through this experience can we reach the realisation at the end ? Through the Mother to Brahman. only to find that there is nothing in it. when hour comes. his and each man all will life know. after all. through the struggles. name will her sons find it possible to sound many experiences to their depths. his was but as a Who does not remember the Veda-like words of the Gita ? " Not. in which the soul turns page after page.

pages of the book of experience. to that safe haven of the peace ? soul I where all is One. and that it was only when he had come to the last word that he could lie back like a weary child. know ing that 'all this was but a dream ' ! 219 . into the have followed.THE PLA Y OF THE MOTHER defeats of the immediate future. in the arms of his Mother. and all is As life look more and more closely of that great Teacher whom I I see each day with growinghow he himself was turning the clearness. to be wrapped away at last into the Supreme Revelation.

but remained West until the beginning of 1902. unbroken opportunity of being with long him. To this voyage of 220 six weeks I look . a guest I in the same house as and a fortnight in Brittany in the follow- never again enjoyed any ing year. and his gurubhai Turiyananda. for London. where I met him once more. it was only as if to be present at the closing scene. which few weeks ber. we reached on the morning of July 3ist.XII HALF-WAY ACROSS THE WORLD. as he. to receive the last benediction. Towards the end I of 1900 he returned in the to India. same steamer as the Swami. And when I then reached India. late in SeptemAfter the five or six weeks which I A spent there. later he left England for America. 1900. On by the the 20th of June 1899. I left Calcutta.

when I had been reminding him of the rareness of criminality in India. the flow of thought and story went on. on a great in scale " And words link themselves my memory with those of another day. filling up the time with quiet . and accepted practically no other. From the beginning of the voyage to the end. that he suddenly exclaimed. writ- ing and needlework thus I received one long continuous impression of his mind and personality. 221 .VINDICATION OF MAN back as the greatest occasion of my life. if Do even evil man ! you must. I missed no opportunity of the Swami's society that presented itself. to lie in manliness. It was while we sat chatting in the River on the first after! " Yes the noon. older I grow. the more everything seems to me ed. ance of some fresh and hear the ringing uttertruth. One never knew what moment would see the flash of intuition. for which I can never be sufficiently thankful. like This a is ! my new Be wickthese gospel.

the constant examination and re. and future cation of Humanity. he turned on me. always rising to new heights of defence of the undefended. never weakened. and a thousand more.ACROSS THE WORLD And test. of caste . of chivalry for the weak. of able point was. never abandoned. as this his love of man. statement of ideas . cannot forget his indignation when he I heard some European reference to cannibal22* . seat of Vikramaditya. And a notice- of Siva. were constantly coming up. " " ! full of sorrowful proin Would God he " said. of Prithi Rai. Our Master has come and he has gone. ' ! it were otherwise Stories my land for this is verily the virtu- ousness of death Ratri. the talk of work. and in the priceless memory he has left with us who knew him. or of the Siva- Dark Night of the judgment Buddha and Yasodhara. that one never heard the same There was the perpetual study thing twice. there is no other thing so great. past and above all the vindi present.

"Sex-love and creation !" he cried. he had heard ate " No nation ever save as a religious sacrifice. Don't you see ? that's not the way of gregarious animals It flesh. were a normal part of life in some " That is not true !" he said. or Kali Death Let us embrace the Terrible. sake " ! terrible not asking that it be toned Let us take misery. be! cause it is down. "These not yet appeared. Again he talked of the religious impulse. out of revenge. or in war.INDIAN HISTORY ism. when to the' end. that gave to the Swami so clear an insight. \ human would cut at the roots of social life potkin's great Krowork on "Mutual Aid "had ! " when these words were was his love of Humanity. How ! few have dared to Let us worship worship Death. said. for misery's own . It are at the root of most religion. as if it societies. 223 . and in the West Christianity. And these in India are called Vaishnavism. and his instinct on behalf of each in his own place.

we could see why the sea had been called Kali Pani or black ' Sadha Pani or white. as the casting for so many centuries.ACROSS THE WORLD As we came to the place where the ' river- water met the ocean. while the river was ' ' Then. and how were fated to see every joy of the " senses turn to ashes. of the fact that he who would be great must suffer. and the Swami explained how it was the great reverence of Hindus for the ocean. touching the sea for the ship first time. gives out his mightiest roar. 224 . forbidding them to defile it by crossing it. that had made such journeys equal to outwater. and he said is The whole only a swan-song ! Never forget those lines 'The lion. he chanted ! Namo of the Shivaya Renunciation to the Land of the Enjoyment Namo Shivaya! from the Land of Passing " World " ! He some of life was talking again. crossed the line. when stricken to the heart.

was always within Hinduism. When And smitten on the head. and five hundred years of Tantras. the majesty of the soul comes forth. one day.' Now infinite with he would answer a question. "were five hundred years of the Law. The three cycles of Buddhism. You must not imagine that there was ever a religion in India called priests of It its " Buddhism." ! own He had been discussing the question of the 225 . Only at one time the influence of Buddha was paramount.BUDDHISM IN HINDUISM. and again he would play historic and literary speculations. the cobra its lifts hood. only when a man is wounded to his " depths. with temples and order Nothing of the sort. and this made the nation monastic. as the crux of a real understanding of Indian history. five hundred years of Images.'' he said. with patience. his Again and again mind would return to the Buddhist period.

saying ''He was once a boy. a thousand years period. as its saints. running about the streets of Bengal !" He ended by showing how the Grand Trunk Road from were all Chittagong to Peshawar. picturing how. And then there were 226 . I remember the accession of delight with which he began the subject. it was annually Indian villages as if it were a king. the Postal system. now it cannot even be identified ! And Again it was Sher Shah of whom he Sher Shah. after the terrible winter that followed their Nags of Kashmir deposition as deities.ACROSS THE WORLD adoption into Buddhism. and the his work. the people going out to meet it on a Himalayan received in given day. and bringing it in rejoicing. making a thirty years' talked. And after the he drifted on to talk about the for Soma plant. interim in the reign of Humayoon. of the (the great serpents who were supposed to dwell within the springs). Government Bank.

reciting from is the Guru 'To that Guru who is Brahman. and had supposed him to be dozing in his chair. to that Guru who I Vishnu. and relation. From the is suddenly he broke his reverie. I bow down to that Guru. years an I to wake up the memory 227 of many lives ! ." He was pursuing some train of thought within. saying "Yes. when he suddenly exclaimed. : Para Brahman. Guru. "Why the memory of one life is like millions of and they want of confinement. to that Guru who is Para Brahman. and he began Gita. a 4 few minutes of lines silence. yet is he without to that Guru who is greatest beginning among the gods. to that Guru who bow down to that Guru is the beginning. to which these snatches of prayer bore some A moment or two went by. This individuality cannot but be illusion !" It was the next morning. Buddha was right It must be cause and effect ! in Karma.SALUTATION TO THE GURU. to that Guru who is Siva.








thereof !"


have just been talking to Turiyananda conservative and liberal ideas," he
he met

said, as

me on

deck before breakfast

one morning, and straightway plunged into
the subject. " The conservative's whole ideal




Your ideal is struggle. Conseis we who and never enjoy life,




yours to

always striving to change something better, and before a mil-

lionth part of the


The Western

ideal is to

Eastern to be suffering. be a wonderful harmony between doing and But that can never ibe. suffering.

you be doing the The perfect life would


carried out,

"In our system
cannot have

it is

accepted that a





many restraints. This is ugly, yet it brings Our libeout points of light and strength. rals see only the ugliness, and try to throw

It off.

as bad,

But they substitute something quite and the new custom takes as long as



us to








"Will is not strengthened by change. It weakened and enslaved by it. But we must be always absorbing. Will grows

stronger by absorption.
unconsciously, will

consciously or the one thing in the


world that we admire.

great, in the

eyes of the whole world, because of the



selfishness that


find that


we must seek to I have made

a mistake




has always been be-





has not been involved,



this self, there would have been no religious systems. If man had not wanted anything for himself, do you think he

ment has gone " Without

straight to the mark.

would have had all


praying and worship




he would never have thought of Goct except perhaps for a little praise now and

then, at the sight of a beautiful landscape or





there ought to be.



All praise " were rid of self!

the only attitude and thanks. If

are quite wrong," he said again, when you think that righting is a sign of It is not so at all. growth. Absorption is the sign. Hinduism is the very genius of



have never cared

for fight-

Of course we

could strike a blow

and then, was right.
for its

defence of our homes

now That

But we never cared

for fighting


Every one had to learn these races of new-comers whirl


They'll " the end

be taken into Hinduism



never thought of his Mother-Church

or his Motherland except as dominant and again and again, when thinking of definite

schemes, he would ejaculate,

in his



way, "Yes,
it is

true! If


are to


in India,

European men or it must be under

the black







he would say, " We have done one thing that no other people ever did. We have converted a whole nawell
tion to

one or two


Non-beef-eating for
eats beef.


Not one




turning sharply round

not at


non-cat-eating; for beef


formerly the food of the country were discussing a certain opponent of


and I suggested that he was guilty of putting his sect above his country. "That is Asiatic," retorted the Swami warmly, "and
his own,
it is



Only he had not the brain


conceive, nor the patience to wait !"' then he went off into a musing on Kali.



not one of those," he chanted,





garland of skulls round



And then look back in terror And call Thee The Merciful "The heart must become a burial
' ' !




Pride, selfishness,

and desire



into dust,


Then and

then alone will the Mother

dance there!"
love terror for
its its


sake," he


on, "despair for


sake, misery for



Fight always.

though always

Fight and fight That's the defeat.

That's the ideal."


totality of all souls, not the


alone," he said once, "is the Personal


of the Totality nothing can resist. what we know as Law. And this

what we mean by Siva and


so on."


of the most beautiful scenes in the

world have been made

me more


their midst, to

these long


It was dark when we approached Sicily, and against the sunset sky, Etna was in

slight eruption.

Messina, the

As we entered the straits of moon rose, and I walked up and
while he


the deck beside the Swami,

dwelt on the fact that beauty is not external, but already in the mind. On one side frown-


the dark crags of the Italian coast, on the other, the island was touched with silver


Messina must thank me





It is

who give her all her beauty !" Then he talked of the fever of longing


reach God, that had wakened in him as a boy, and of how he would begin repeating a
text before sunrise,

and remain




He was trying peating it, without stirring. here to explain the idea of tapasya, in answer
to my questions, and he spoke of the old way of lighting four fires, and sitting in the midst, hour after hour, with the sun overhead, reining in the mind. "Worship the

he ended, "Worship Death




All struggle is vain. is vain. That is the last lesson. Yet this is not the coward's|of

love of death, not the love

the weak, or

welcome of the strong who has sounded everything to its man, depths, and knows that there is no alterthe suicide.





The Swami
talked with

me one

day, of

the saints he had seen.




perhaps with that Nag Mahashoy, who had paid him a visit in Calcutta, only a few weeks

and whose death must have occurred

a day or two previous to our leaving. The news reached him, while the ship was still in

Nag Mahashoy, he said repeatedwas "one of the greatest of the works of ly, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa." He described
the River.

impassioned idea of the necessity of bhakti, and how he would refuse to give food,

to the


of one so worthless and unfortu-

nate as he

himself was, in never yet having

loved God.

how on one had cut down the Nag Mahashoy
told me, too,


ridge-pole of his cottage, in order to the fire to cook food for a guest.



The talk passed perhaps, to the story of that youth who was touched by Sri Ramakrishna's hand, and who never afterwards

Bespoke, save to say "My Beloved !" He lived ten years, without other


speech than this. There were many
the monks, of persons

stories current


who had come to Dukhihis hand,

neswar during the
diately into

life-time of their Master,

and being touched by

went immenothing

Samadki. In many


more was known of the visitants than this. This was notably true of a certain woman, who had driven to the Temple, and of whom Sri Ramakrishna had said at once that she was "a fragment of the Madonnahood of the


had offered salutation

to this

guest, in the


flowers on

of the Mother, throwing and burning incense feet,

before her,



was not perhaps

had passed immediately into the deepest Samadki. Fr^m this, however, to



difficult to recall her.


had proved most was two or three

hours before she

awoke from her





it is

happened her whole apsaid, was as that of one who

had been intoxicated.


relieved that


was ending thus well, however, for it had been feared that her Samadhi might last much longer, and her family, wherever they
were, feel justly disturbed all lent their aid to the departure of the stranger from the
temple, and

none had the forethought


make a

single enquiry as to her

She never came again. memory became like some beautiful legend, treasured in the Order as witness to the worship of Sri Ramakrishna for gracious and noble wifehood and motherhood. Had he
not said of this woman,

name or Thus her

"a fragment of the
of religious matters much after these


Madonnahood ? In my own ignorance


in general,

my mind





stray children of the central impulse, shining distant stars in their own orbits, as it


were, and never returning upon us or ours. I to know whether, even in lives so fair

it might perhaps be possible to the great experience of a day long forget years ago, so that the memory of the great

Teacher and

his touch

would become to them

also a far-away incident, a story heard in a dream, even as their visits had become to


who saw them




in fact

to be able to

measure the

relative values of





out of sight at that

time altogether, having not yet begun to consider it the preparedness which the national idea has produced in every Hindu
for such experiences.

But the Swami could

not understand


mental twilight.


"that Ramakrishna Parait a joke," he said, mahamsa should touch a life ? OF COURSE he made new men and new women of those who


to him,


in these fleeting contacts!"


There was no mention of the defects of this. 239 . And suddenly to this one. of each. till his other work was done ? But there would be no mistake in the end. how could every man. As one listened. Why should every man force himself to be a monk ? Nay. and ! come again !" And that succeeding proving itself ever alight. it was the courage and nobility of each man's struggle that one felt. he turned and said "Go away Then make some money now. and struggled to understand. so striven to tell us everything. to-day was the old love was but man whom he told. All these would be his at last.LIVES TRANSFORMED And then he would tell story after story of different disciples. and came again. as he rose went to the interpretation before him. and it would have been imfor the listener to possible at that moment Baba he had Of Pavhari think of any other as higher. How one came. His whole soul Similarly. or any other of in the world. of the saints.

and as an outpost 240 soldier originally in the sentinel was . lie in very TRAILINGA SWAMI he had seen |when old. when the Swami reached his ashrama. He would a Siva-temple in Benares. very. tions. to write him quesone. He had been a British service. with his feet on the image. knew that there All was none whose love valued. more than a hundred. to himself he had more Now hour. This man was lately dead.GLIMPSES OF THE SAINTS that it would have seemed scarcely delicate to press vague questions upon him further. and sometimes. He allowed people. who had been with him at the time of the saint's death knew that he held him second only to Sri Ramakrishna. A madcap. however. seemingly. RAGHUNATH DASS had been dead two months. if he fancied would write an answer in Sanskrit. appa- He was always silent. rently. of he set himself to tell stories for an one or two others whom he had met.

This I once forgive you. and good. Ram Chunder ki jai " He threw away his arms and ! uniform. however. Meanwhile. if he It knew to Yes." That night.RAGHUNATH DASS faithful officers. "Go away this and I shall repeat it to no one. he heard a party. This went on He tried to do his duty." said the Colonel. for some time. all . He sent for Raghupenalty. you must suffer the penalty. "Well. he threw and joined the worshippers till morning. He last did his best. however. the Colonel's trust in Raghunath Dass had been so great that he 241 . till reports came were to the Colonel. but it was irresistible. and asked him true. Ram-Ram but " Java Bolo maddened him. At to the winds. and much beloved by his One night. and joined the worship. But if the same thing happens again. nath Dass. whether these the and it. the sentinel heard again the Ram-Ram party. time. however. he knew was be shot.

to see for himself. Rama it was who had done this for His servant. being reassured. People thought him ignorant. In the morning appeared Raghunath Dass to report himself and surrender his arms. the Colonel turned in. Then would Saraswati. he would serve no other. come the grain-seller. Henceforth. Then. after a while." banks of the said the Swami. and went to sleep. Thunderstruck. So in the him. but I knew his power. with his 242 . Now Raghunath Dass was was in his place.GLIMPSES OF THE SAINTS found it difficult to believe anything against even on his own confession. for the Colonel told him what he had himself seen and heard. course of the night. in very truth. "He "on the became a Vairagi. he visited the outpost. But the report was not accepted. and exchanged the word with him three times. Daily he would feed thousands. the man insisted by some means on retiring from the service.

243 . I fancy.' And it always came." Some one asked him Ram. This will come." urged the "but only to know if it is possible happen !" Nothing is impossible with the Lord !" answered Raghunath Dass. A It thousand rupees you say ? Let me see. while blood was streamI took him. He was coming nude down the street. "in Hrishikesh. with boys pursuing. to-morrow. ^ .AT HRISHIKESH Raghunath Dass would say. "I saw many great men.Ram " |if the story of the party were true. and throwing stones at him. > Swami. One case that I remember was that of a man who seemed to be mad. and ing down his face and neck. The whole man was bubbling over with laughter. 'H'm * !' thing. . for such things to . " I do not ask for curiosity. is a month I think since I have received anybill." went on the questioner. "What's the use of knowing such things ? he answered.

with me of the fun the boys and he had been having. . putting ashes f on it. for instance. that boy was a silent sannyasin. to And stop the bleeding. There was a boy. K. 244 . in Sometimes the thing comes upon them a flash. throwing the stones. People are a trouble to them. And so on " " . nude. but it "it may realise. on his t These ashes are made way to Kedar Nath ! by burning a piece of cotton cloth. and gave it out that he lived on corpses.GLIMPSES OF THE SAINTS bathed the wound." "And next day. . Another threw stones. is all One day he turned and ?' this really true Oh be yes!" difficult said to Abhedananda.' he said. in order to guard themselves against intrusion. So the Father plays." " Many of these men hide. he told ' all the time. to who used said Sir. " ' come to read the Upanishads with Abhedan-anda. peals of laughter. is cer- tainly true. . One had human bones strewn about his cave.

What. or to go on pilgrimage. or perform austerities. and austerity to austerity ? this He is acquiring merit.thought of heaven !" 245 . then. two vows. one to and one to help the world. "these are the stories that are Never forget deep in our nation's heart ! that the sannyasin takes realise the truth. came the story of Shibi Rana. perhaps. "Ah" yes!" exclaimed the teller. and that the most stringent of stringent requirements is that he should renounce any .SHIBI RANA "What happened to him ? you ask He became silent !" " But the sannyasin needs no longer to worship. is the motive of all going from pilgrimage to pilgrimage. shrine to shrine. and giving !" it to the world And then. as he ended.

And how grateful does one become later for this fact! It was his personal opinion that one desired. in the sense required by tioner. of a personal nature. method of helpfulness to others. question of this authority to without first turning for some dictum of the Shastras. But giving this. with the in the Red brought to the Swami some perplexity. in the form of a comment on some text. than if he had answered at once.XIV PAST AND FUTURE IN INDIA Even a journey round the world beit comes a pilgrimage. It was indeed. the impatient ques- 246 . that he would answer a sort. it went much deeper into the mind. It was late one evening. Sea. as he did. if one makes Guru. about the when I right rarely. and became the subject of much longer thought and consideration.

THE BROKEN VOW In the same way. repeating Arjuna's question: h ifH Gita vi. triumphant. and afterwards become unsteady. fearless. he had gone all the way round by a beautiful Sanskrit quotation. j/. 247 . Even now. perish. 38. to answer me. to what end do those come. They who begin with Shraddha. when I had asked him what becomes of those who failed to keep their vows. summer- cloud before the wind ? And the answer of Sri Krishna. who fail in yogat Do they. fallen like from a both estates. O Krishna. blasted. I hear the ring of his wonderful voice.

"Neither here nor hereafter.' memory of he said. come son " ! O my And then he drifted into a talk that First he I can never forget." how Then he told how the reli- gious again to a throne. one who has done good. in more favourable surroundings. 'A habit. word. was but "the sowing of wild oats. He thought of himself as a brahmacharin who had failed in his Vows. and deed.PAST AND FUTURE Pritha. short of the absolute control of mind. 'there to sow his wild oats/ in gratifying that particular desire who failed would sometimes be born which had led to his downfall. 'often the religious haunts the throne/ For one of the signs of greatness was held to be the persistence of a faint memory. and that time he would succeed. Akbar had had this memory. And then there came one of those personal glimpses which occurred so 248 . But he would be born again. O Son of shall such meet with destruction. shall NEVER to grief. explained everything.

Even now. time " !' 249 . was this. on own he soul. "And whatever turning to me suddenly." ! being a vairagi. and addressing me by name. "I have such a memory When I was only two years old. yet Siva sent us after all. No doubt my family increased this feeling. 'No !' I say to myself. had had to be also dear this ! so instead of a was very I rebellious they good soul would empty a can of ! ! demon Or when I water over me. to I prevent I my giving too much away. said. that for felt that and sent some mischief I away from Siva. many austerities. I used to play with my syce. when 'not this feel mischievous. always. for when I was naughty they would say "Dear. saying 'Siva Siva' ! And then I was all right. that word keeps me straight. clothed in ashes and kaupina. he lifted the visor for a his moment. And if a Sadku came to beg. they would lock me in. upstairs. Carried away by the of memory.TAMASIC CHARITY talk seldom with our Master. at you may think.

in similar fashion. And sattvic charity that which given to the right person. Raja- for his own is glory.PAST AND FUTURE On the present occasion. For far. the Rajasic." he answered me. in the right way. about my question. then. to the he went back. It is always making mistakes. and at the proper time. I think more and more of a certain great Western woman. When it comes to the sattvic." my own part." he said. and the Sattvic. the Tamasic. Gita. "The Gita says. Tamasic charity performed on an impulse. and never making a mistake. Your own. at the right time. I have been learning that even charity can go too 250 . "was. The doer thinks of nois thing but his sic charity is own impulse to be what a man does is kind. referring to the incident that had brought fear. I like the tamasic charity. "that there are three kinds of charity. in whom I have seen that quiet giving. always to the right person in the right way.

till he can do his best ? "More and more the true greatness seems to ly. and points on in ! hour to hour. will be great in a great posithe coward will grow brave in "But anyone Even the glare of the foot-lights. me that of the steadily. The world looks on. and we sat looking out over the starlit sea. worm. I want to find a Sir Few men would Philip Sidney greatness of others. "As I grow older I find that I look more and more for greatthings." How many received a the map have from the new beauty my eyes. even in the remember the thirst ness in little ! moment tion ! of death. conversations they recall As we passed up 251 . doing its duty silentfrom moment to moment. I want to know what a and wears.TRUE GREATNESS His voice sank into silence. and how he great man eats speaks to his servants. Whose heart will not throb ? Whose pulse will not quicken. Then he took up the thread again.

he met me with the words "Have you seen them ? Have you seen them ? Landing there and crying 'Din Din! The Faith The ! ! Faith " !' And away into his was swept dramatisation of the Moorish for half-an-hour I invasions of Spain. Or again. and sat looking at the south coast of Corsica. in he spoke a hushed voice of "this land of the birth of the War." and wandered RobesVictor III. he would sit and talk of Buddha. on a Sunday evening. far afield. As we went through the Straits of Bonifacio.Lord. we talked of the Church. or to touch on tempt for !" Napoleon Hugo's conwith his "Et tu Napoleon As I came on deck. on the morning of our passing through the Straits of Gibraltar. and interpreting the Great Renunciation as it had appeared to him who made it 252 . to talk of the strength of pierre. putting new life into the customary historic recital of bare facts.PAST AND FUTURE the coast of Italy.

in the morning. and I regarded the 253 . felt to came on a certain I had asked what he tell me. to the great purpose of his life. but the bridge. Every now and then he would return. yet arise. For I knew that here I was but and the transmitter. On the contrary. It was impossible to draw him out on this subject. in broad outbe the points of differ- ence between his own schemes for the good of India. and those preached by others.HIS MESSAGE But his talks all were not all entertaining r nor even educational. And when he did this. we neared Aden. who would his dreams. I listened with an anxious mind. and seek to make good One of these occasions as evening. adopted by some of the leaders of other schools. striving to treasure up each word that he let fall. he expressed appreciation of certain personal characteristics and lines of conduct. with consuming eagerness. him. to line. between him that countless host of his own people.

One may desire to see the India of one's books. one's studies. it is only that one idea strength. he returned to the subject of his own accord. If will find that I have never quoted you look. "I disagree with all those. Buddha's teaching But a better think this is way of teaching the same thing. I one word. only in a natural way. of Vedas and Vedanta and lies in that was of Non-resistance or Non-injury. you anything but the Upanishads. reinforced by the strong points of this age. again one's dreams. "who are giving their superstitions back to my people. For behind that Non-injury 254 . The quintessence all. Like the Egyptologist's interest in Egypt. in the evening. The new state of things must be a growth from within. Suddenly. it is easy to feel an interest in India purely selfish. "So I preach only the Upanishads." he said. And of the Upanishads.PAST AND FUTURE question as dismissed. hope is to see again the that is My strong points of that India.

save that sea. that wonderful unconsmethod He did not understand himHe knew nothing of England or the ! English.BE STRONG lay a dreadful weakness. Never a word of condemnation for any Once I had been one of our sects of Diabolists. well said the !' 255 . to say 'And thou also art He !' "But you may ask what Ramakrishna in this scheme ? ' is the place of cious self. they were queer folk from over the life. think of punishing or escaping from a drop of It is nothing to me. and he had listened quietly. and who broke his silence. 'Well. Now I would injury like that. Strength and fearown ideal is that giant of a saint lessness. It is weakness that I do not conceives the idea of resistance. But he lived that great ! and I read the meaning. when stabbed to the heart. Yet to the mosquito it would be serious. all make My whom they killed in the Mutiny. sea-spray. I attacking had been raving on for three hours. He is the method.

PAST AND FUTURE old man as I finished." through I thought at the time. Only muktt religion Nothing for the householder "But these ar^ the very people whom I For are not all souls of want to help. 256 . and I think increasingly. "And as I consider it. 'perhaps every house may have a back door. here ! ! the same quality the same ? ? Is not the goal of all so strength must come to the nation education. to have heard. Who knows' ? "Hitherto the great fault of our Indian has lain in its knowing only two words renunciation and mukti. that this one talk of my Master had been well worth the whole voyage.

By their means. and the question of questions was how to deepen the popular knowledge. a tender Preserver. But Vaishnavism offered him a subject of perpetual own interest and analysis. The bulk of mankind would always think of God as a Divine Providence. The thing he knew by experience was the of Advaita. one might gather an army. and this fact found recurring expression in references to Vaishnavism.XV ON HINDUISM The Swami was constantly preoccupied with the thought of Hinduism as a whole. imagination was perhaps dominated by the conceptions of Saivaism. truth of the doctrine The symbols under which he to would seek ideal convey this were the monastic and the Worship of the Terrible. of the connec257 . But these were truths for heroes. his As a sannyasin.

realisation. But It in India. admitted. to see that in no weak point remained. Advaita had to be explained and all this preached. indeed. as that philosophy was acknowl- edged to be.HINDUISM tion between this type of belief and the With regard to the highest philosophy. to it. West. the bridges had actually to be built. to were universally was only necessary to renew remind the nation of the interparts of its The relation of all own faith. in the by which Vaishnavism was deargument monstrated to be as essential to the highest philosophy. facts had been done long ago. Where was the thinker behind the founder of a religion? And where. on the other complete the thought? hand was the heart to 258 . to dwell He sought constantly for the great force behind the evolution of any given phenomenon. Thus he loved of the historical on the spectacle emergence of Hinduism. and to order go again and again over the ground.

Each is is not. the sannyas of to His many-sidedness. can anything be declared. and is gone. feeling. But Buddha had brought the love that made the philosolive. which awoke in the Swami a feeling was scarcely second to his passionate Compared personal adoration of Buddha. preacher and creative centre of popular Hinduism. " thou art the sea! Krishna. as a boy. sensation. he would be stopped every now and then by some great sentence. Buddha was almost a weakness. "They who find pleasure the same. five categories mo- knowledge from Kapila.THE SANKHYA PHILOSOPHY Buddha had tion. in Know. Of no one of these. heat and cold and pain the same. Oh man as the ! his turn. " It but was. friend 259 . Kapila had For each said. How wonderful was the Gita! Reading it. which would go throbbing through his brain for days and nights. received his philosophy of the form. phy but the ripple on the waters.

For the Buddhist books were torture to read. was such a relief! Buddha had constantly said "I am " And they had crushed. one or two thoughts a huge volume. that the Puranas were intended. in for the People his name. thus to yield to How strong! But besides unmanliness !" this. the vanity of art and learning. Having been find only one would in written for the ignorant.HINDUISM and foe the same!" And that descrip! tion of the battle a spirited battle too with the opening words of Krishna. that of * It is not be supposed that the Swami here referred to the Dhammapada a work which he always placed on a level with the Gita. there was the beauty of it. The great mistake committed by Buddhism after the Buddhist writings. I think was rather to such books as those Jataka Birth Stories which Trubner's Oriental Series. The Gita. Arjuna. ! lay in the destruction of the old. The reference. " 111 doth it befit thee.* It was to meet the need thus roused. are published in two volumes in 260 . There had been only one mind foreseen this in India that had need.

For the whole Mahabharata is his. Jainism represents the other extreme.* At same time. He recognises at once the need of the People. leading to the realisaof God. declaration is for begins the "Thus is created a religion that ends in the worship of Vishnu. Our last you remember. and the desirability of preserving all that had already been gained. Chaitanyism. Nor are the Gopi story and the Gita (which speaks again and again of women and sudras) the only forms in which he reached the ignorant. carried out by his worshippers. and The Swami was the real he was not characterising doctrine here speaking of the personal asceticism of Sri Chaitainya.LIFE REVEALS GOD Krishna. which has probably never been surpassed. this is : reformed Jainism. that and it it with the People. as the preservation and enjoyment of life. the slow destruction of the by is * self-torture. you see. the movement. 26l . probably the greatest man who ever lived. body Hence Buddhism. was for enjoyment.

'Worship God through Vedantic as senses!' the against that 262 . from the extreme of self-torture to the extreme of And during the same period will be developed a metaphysical cycle. completing counter-spirals. you are feeding This was the cry of Chaitanya. for brother. from that of using the senses as an instru- ment. in every age. there is In India. or child if It is all right. ! for mother. a cycle of sects which represents every gradation of physical practice. other. Thus Hinduism always of consists. husband. is only you will think that Krishna the that child. as it were. to that of the annihilation of the senses. two each "Yes l^Vaishnavism this says.HINDUSIM meaning of Buddha's leaving the company of the five ascetics.. round a single axis. and when you give him Krishna!' food. 'It is all right ! tremendous love for father. always which represents the realisation of God as excess. taking place by every gradation of means.

hedged 263 . In India. organism. They are two great experiments. one consists of socialist institutions. of Advaita that spiritual individualism . The orthdox covers the ground taken by the Vedic Hindus of the Mahabharata epoch. which is spiritual communism. "I see that India is a young and living Europe also is young and living. you are playing on and around it socially individualists. light - we have social communism. and the Brahmo Samaj. Neither has arrived at such a stage of development that we can safely criticise its institutions. in Europe. with the is. the Arya Samaj.INDIA cry. neither of which is yet complete. NOT EFFETE senses ! 'Control !' the suppress the senses "At the present moment. The Arya Samaj corresponds with Jainism. aud the Brahmo Samaj with the Buddhists. but your thought is duaThus the listic. we may see three different positions of the national religion the orthodox.

for instance. He meant here the great individual man. Buddha. the Maha-Purusha. Never forget that a man is made great and perfect virtues. I respect marriage as highly as non-marriage. even if it could be proved that that character was all faults. as much by his faults So we must not seek its as to by his rob a nation of character. "Now we must help the Indian experiment as it is.HINDUISM in is by individualistic thought. no good. within the hedge of communistic thought. In Europe." His mind was extraordinarily clear on the subject of what he meant by individualism. while the other made up of individualist institutions. How often has he said to me "You do not yet understand India! after all ! We Indians are MAN- is man !" worshippers. using the But on another same word in an entirely 264 . Movements which do not attempt to help things as they are. from that point of view. Krishna. Our God the Guru. are. occasion. the man of self-realisation.

to condemn the fetichism of the Hottentot.THE WORSHIP OF HUMANITY different sense. he said "This idea of manit worship* never been expanded. exists in nucleus in India. to say. You must develop of it. "I do not know. Make poetry. he said. a moment later. on one occasion. but has it. Establish the worship of the feet of beggars. 265 . is to think God the image. "/ do that !" he exclaim- "Don't you see. apart from their individual achievement of thought or character. as you had it in Mediaeval Europe. make art. object alternately worshipped. in hot resentment of injustice done to * That in all is man. humanity. lurid picture was hastily put before of the beaten. "what fetichism is !" A him. "that the image is God. Make man-worship" pers. The error you have to avoid." He was appealed to." he answered. He was equally clear. thanked." he went on. about the " value of the image. the worship of the manhood which exists in any men. "You may always say. again. ed.

we win connects a living power with rocks. he never forgot for a moment the importance of the philosophy of Hinduism. "Don't you see that there is no fetichism ? Oh. that you cannot see that the child child is right ! The Knowledge back to it. After the only the meanword comes the is Therefore. thing.HINDUSIM the lowly and absent. your hearts are steeled. robs us of the child's vision. through He higher knowledge. sees person everywhere. and the rest. "the whole universe ing of words. But at last. And is there not a living Power behind them ? It is symbolism. according to is Hindu savants. How lovingly he would dwell upon the mimansaka With what pride he would philosophy ! remind the listener that. sticks. trees. the idea all !" And in- 266 . not fetichism Can you not see ?" ! But while every sincere ejaculation was thus sacred to him. And he would throw perpetual flashes of poetry into the illustration of such arguments as are known to lawyers.

THE MIMANSAKAS deed. on the other side. the sound. the concentration represents that the gods- exist only in the mind." written on a piece of paper. that prayer is powerful it in proportion to . The thing is but a feeble manifestation of the pre-existing and 267 . very glory no evasion of the logical assuredly as the of issue in a people who can say. that the image is idea made objective the nothing but . "makes sruti. the daring of the mimansaka argument. everything. kick the beam. and thrown into the balances. he told the exposition of a faith of Satyavama's sacrifice and how the story ! word "Krishna. made Krishna himself. appeared There is Hinduism. as he expounded it. the fearlessness of itsadmissions. even while they worship the image. "Orthodox Hinduism" he began. sounded like the most destructive attack and yet the more asThe whole train of thought of the iconoclast. and the firmness of its inferences. suredly exist. yet it was being used for the One day.

that religion is not a creed. than God. then it must also is be true that everything that the material is in the mind. Thus the Greek philosophy of Plato is included within the Hindu that sounds merely philosophy of the mimansakas. as the Swami himself has elseit where the said. but an experience . of being and becoming. one saw that the whole turned on the unspoken ! conviction. Your own name is infinitely ! more perfect than the of God is greater person. and nothing more than the concretising of ideas. If be true that this process leads inevitably from realisation apprehension of the manifold to the of the One. Guard you your speech !" Surely there has never been another religious you The name system so fearless of truth As he talked.HINDUISM eternal Idea. So the name is thing tion of : God Himself that idea in of God is everymerely the objectificathe eternal mind. and a doctrine empiric on the lips of 268 . a process. self-apparent to the Oriental mind.

for they were separate from humanity Only those should be worshipped ! who are like ourselves. demand for intellectual effort. on one would not worship even the occasion. too. In this way he would run over the six 269 . as a rule.INDIAN LOGIC of India. for his translations of technical terms would vary from time to time. of weariness or difficulty. on those same way. Greek gods. that his mind was following the train of argument in another language. for a couple of hours at a stretch. finds reason and necessity. It was evident. at such times. "I a truth he exclaimed. without suspecting them. in the tit-bits." But his references to philosophy did not by any means always consist of these epicurean He was merciless. and would hold a group of unlearned listeners through an analysis of early systems. as one declaring self-evident. In the Europe. but greater. difference between the gods and The me must be a difference only of degree.

form. These were sub- action. for Buddhism. e. stance.HINDUSIM objects with which the mind has to deal. according to the Vaisheshik. which is maya. and out- by side with this. and vidya. inherence as between cause and parts and the whole. 270 . he would place the three illusive categories of the Vedanta (and of Kant) time. Side and causation \Kala-desh-nimittd\ appearing as name-and-form. time space. that * Subttance. The all Buddhist made form the resultant of the others. and nothing by itself.* quality. all reaction the resultant of previous impressions]. or judgment. side the five categories. categories feeling. \i. consists of the fire elements. consciousness. space. togetherness. was beyond vidya [which Buddhism called Pro/no]. and this in- separable effect. mind and soul. classification or differentiation. the goal therefore. in making up the universe according to the Vaisheshik formulation. the five With he of would compare Buddhism.

[Sat]. which remains eternally the western speculations pass great restoration of the Nor would forgotten. They are certainly not one. an eternal. The under the analysis of the modern syllogism old Indian title path the race had come by. that the seen was is it not. Evolution and involution are both alike in Maya. (2) inference . Rather Being same. changeful process. in this For this was a mind which saw only the seeking. pursuing. It neither existence nor non- existence. is Being makes this being appear as many. (i) direct perment" ception (4) . then. the induction and deduction of the moderns 271 . making no arbitrary distinctions as between ancient and modern. According to this logic. These were. was clear. but process in according to this. of "the five limbs of the argu- would be followed by the four proofs of the Nyayas. and testimony.INDIAN LOGIC is to say. enquiry of man. a being. (3) analogy .

by difference. The inference from direct perception was divided into three different kinds: first. by double method agreement and difference. that in which cause the is inferred in from effect. : Methods of inference. by partial method of agreement. The two last were sometimes classed together as the method of the It was quite clear that only the residuum. and by partial method of difference. and is thirdly. that in which the effect is inferred from the cause. these that is could to furnish say. second. of third of .HINDUISM were not recognised inference was regarded as always from the more known to the less known. 272 . case which inference determined by concomitant circumstances. again. God can never be proved to be the cause of the Universe. : or from the less to the more. a perfect inference complete when as well the as "proof is only has been negative Thus the affirmative. were fivefold by agreement. proved.

crush Why do we thus immediately re-apply a perBut it ception ? Experience. Disease. and the persistence of the perception. it must be remembered that direct perception itself can only be a proof. 273 Therefore . and it cries. for the first time. Experience from past plied to the real lives ? But why ap- Because there is a connection between certain things. falling. all On this discrimina- depends human knowledge. "With regard to fallacies. IS INFERENCE Hence worms. infer that all stones. provided the instrument. itself is but Therefore direct perception a mode of inference. happens. are all maintained pure. the instance. nor falls short tion of. or emotion. a future ? pervasiveness. and crushes a worm. again. Throw a baby into the air. says some one. the fact of pervasiveness A we stone falls. will have the effect of disturbing the observation. the method.ALL "There is. only it lies with us to see that the quality neither overlaps. let us suppose.

Give ? !" 274 . Therefore the Vedas are true. direct perception and to inference. perception peculiar to any ? No the Aryan.HINDUISM human knowledge is uncertain. One the set of persons. proofs there are only two. gives priority external manifestation. because they consist of the evidence But is this power of of competent persons. Who is a true witness ? He all is a true witness to whom the thing said is a direct perception. or the egg to the bird oil hold the cup or the cup the oil problem of which there is it up Escape from Maya ! Does the This is a no solution. Which is prior. ? the bird to the egg. and the Mlechha ! The Rishi all alike have it. you see. and may be erroneous. only "Modern and that analogy and parity of reasoning are Therefore of actual only bad inferences. the other to the internal idea. is Bengal holds that evidence a special case of direct perception.

not many of his town. A him daily. six or seven weeks later.XVI GLIMPSES IN THE WEST. On and so July the 3ist. for the leading that he confi- dently expected. the voyage that to myself had been The Swami memorable. the Swami paid a few visits in New York and its neighbourhood. I became the same house. After when our party was broken up. there to wait. 275 . and before long he acceded to the invitations which were consfriends were tantly reaching him. and continued lie. to effort was in to a guest to see is show him where his next month later. a few weeks in Wimbledon. and went on to America. we arrived in London. At the end of the that date. until November the 5th. but at spent this time of the in year. was over. in a beautiful country-home on the Hudson. that to say.

And all this last was what our Master above that He said once expected of his disciples. in Brittany. was only to receive his final blessing and take a but it last farewell. Again I met him in New York in the following June (1900). . There for a few weeks. my Master. spent a fortnight as his fellowwith American friends. my saw For when I next schooling under him. changes. So ends the priceless memory of the years of finally. guest. when the perDiscipleship sonal presence of the Teacher is withdrawn. at a moment's notice. saw him frequently I and in September. whereI then was. and later in I Paris for a similar length of time.IN THE WEST month he passed through Chicago. is always serenely passive. received for a few weeks or months into the monastery. on his way to California. complained that as yet he had learnt nothing. whenever a young monk. . in India in the first half of it 1902. into' strenuous effort and activity.

work. He my stay. His words. at saying farewell to And last the words acted like a after charm. my brief " Rememglimpse of him in Chicago. had seen so many betrayals of honour that 277 . to a give way her betrothed. 1900. were ber! the message of India is always Not ' the soul for Nature. there to find out how very much he had in fact absorbed. wife !" he exclaimed in an undertone on put one occasion. for the Indian as yet of the length of and means. I was on the eve of to if returning alone friends England.THE FAREWELL CHARGE he always sent him back for a while to the world he had left. but in Nature for the soul\ When I said good-bye to him in Brittany September. Every part- ing from him was like the entrusting of a " Be the heroic Rajstandard for warfare. have crossed his mind that old ties may were perilous to a foreign allegiance. there to find possible. I knew nothing I had no And the thought plans. girl who was about to to emotion.

thee. reported to be so fanatical that they take each newborn babe. to give came out. and found him waiting me his blessing. the moment was critical to the fate of the disciple. live!" 278 . child. if you. but in the opposite sense. perish! If Ali made live I Now this which they say to the say. before leaving. with friend. and the darkness had fallen. for a new In any case. peculiar sect of Mohammeare dans. "who it. and expose 'If saying. and this he did not last fail to realise. when he saw me. in Suddenly. I heard him at the door of my little arbour-study. for the cottage a manwhere they were both housed. and there. he said. to you. to- night I made 'Go forth into the world. on my Brittany. God made ' ! thee. I calling me into the garden. when supper was evening some time over. " There " is a. be destroyed! If Mother made ybu.IN THE WEST he seemed always to be ready desertion.

and see his form against the morning sky. 279 . with hands uplifted. " He was care. to say farewell. nerved by external failure. and in my last memory of him in Europe.THE FAREWELL CHARGE Yet he came again next morning. to his surround- Current estimates of value him He was never way startled or incredulous any under success. as he stands on the road outside our cottage at after Lannion. during European and American ings. in being too deeply convinced of the greatness of the Power that worked through him. soon dawn. salutation which is in that Eastern also benediction. I look back once more from the peasant market-cart. was one of left al- most complete indifference entirely unaffected. to be But neither was surprised by it. if Why should I the world itself were to disappear ?" he said once. their witness. The Swami's bearing. Both he unvictory and defeat would come and go. outstanding impression made by the all these months of life.

Monk and king. however. must always be the fate of one who wanders from door to door. you know. dressed in the two garments of simple folk.IN THE WEST According to my philosophy. is Am against me must be with " I not HER soldier ? me in He moved fearless and unhesitant through the luxury of the West." he added. equally with- out doubt or shrinking. so. was his acceptance of the complexity of the means of living in America or France. he said. round poverty. to the renunciation was but one step. would be a very good thing But in fact. As determinedly as I had seen him in India. Rapid changes of fortune. were obverse and reverse of a single medal. accepting the hospitality of 280 . India had thrown her prestige in the past. ! " " All that the end. that. sitting on the floor and eating with his fingers. the use of the best. From of all all. in tones suddenly graver. Some prestige was in the future to be cast round wealth.

long after. When. His confidence in that Divine-within- Man of which he talked. he had at in certain Southern towns been taken a negro. !" he was heard to say to himself. But the out-flow of his love and courtesy were always for the simple. he had never said that he was not of for African blood. was as perfect. as with the exploited and oppressed. first travelling in America. stood between him and any human heart. No institution. apology for what they deemed the insult put "What ! rise at the expense of another upon him. as of that of the local magnates who hastened mortified round him later. and mil- his appeal as direct. and refused admission to the hotels. but had as quietly and gratefully availed himself of the society of the coloured race. no envi- ronment. when 281 .LOVE OF THE LOWLY foreign peoples. These reversals he never seemed to notice. when in that was offered. when he talked with the imperialist aristocrat or the American lionaire.

and he would like to shake hands. he spoke of the pathos regarding this of the sion. in after-years. stern he would become at any sible. saying that he had heard how in him one of his own people had become a great man. confidences race-exclutime. for the vulgar social exultation of the white man to pass unrebuked. Finally. it was never posin his presence.IN THE WEST some one this referred with astonishment did to silence about his ! race. in a station. Often. which he had received at Few things ever gave him such pleasure as a negro railway-servant who came up to him on one occasion. I "Rise at the n't expense of another earth for that dictate terms !" : come to It is not for the monk to the monk submits. was his reproof! how glowing was the picture paint. 282 . How sign of this ! How scathing And above he would all. of a possible future for these children of the race. when they should have and become the leaders outstripped all others.

in the degree in which it provided that mental and 283 . Each family. was appreciated by him. exclaimed " Don't you see ? the Tartar is the wine of the race ! He gives energy and power to every blood !" In seeking to penetrate his indifference to circumstance." he ' said.THE TARTAR BLOOD of Humanity ! He was scornful in his repu- diation of the pseudo-ethnology of privileged " If I am grateful to my white-skinraces.' He in his own his 'Mongo- regarding it as a sign of 'bull-dog. of what he called lian jaw. to the black- skinned Negritoid was immensely proud. each hearth-stone. which he believed to be behind every Aryan people. one has to remember that it was based on a constant effort to find the ideal thinking-place. ned Aryan ancestor. to my and most so of " ! yellow-skinned Mongolian all. and referring to this particular race-element. he one day tenacity of purpose'. physiognomy. I am far more so ancestor.

chaelmas Day and happened next to him.77V THE WEST One the highest of a party who to stand emotional poise which makes intellectual life possible. in a single jourtoo deeply engrossed in being thought to know when he had reached his desti- As years went on. the nation. "What a wonderful There are still some place for meditation !" amongst those who entertained him in Chicago in 1893. they saw the gradual change to an attitude of apparent readiness and actuality. Beneath. would enter a tram. perhaps. But such alterations were little more than surface-deep. on his arrival in the West. more than once ney. and have to pay the fare for the whole length He of the line. wno first te ll of the difficulty with which. was startled to hear him say. . looking at the dungeon-cages of mediaeval prisoners. he broke through the habit of falling constantly into absorption. under his breath. visited Mont Saint Michel with him on Mi1900. and these friends met him from time to time.

and told me that he had in his dreams been pursuing a discussion. for nothing. It local found in him an eager was the personal aspect of conhim unaffected. He approached everything through it the ideas which sought to express. tions. history. ditions that left stimulus. the mind held itself ever on the brink of the universal. During the voyage to England. that he was bowled along from place to place. being broken the while/ " Oh I know to use his own graphic phrase. Never did the contrast between two hemispheres pass before a mind better fitted to respond to its student. he came on deck one day after a sound sleep. will It seemed almost as if it were by some anta' gonistic power. I have wandered over the whole earth." he " but in India I have looked cried once. " ! save the cave in which to- meditate And observer. institu- Museums. yet he was a constant and a keen universities. 285 .INACTIVITY IN ACTIVITY glowed with all its old fervour.

but now he saw mainly its greed and power.IN THE WEST as between Eastern and Western ideals of marriage. he had accepted without thought the assumption that machinery would be a boon to agriculture. In everything. 286 . he was firmly con- vinced. might be the better for machines. and had come to the conclusion that there was something in both that the world could ill afford to lose. including the problem of distribution. The problem was quite different in the two cases. he told me that on seeing Western civilisation he had been greatly attracted by it. appearing in this as so many other things. Like others. At the end of his last visit to first America. he listened with suspicion to all arguments that would work for the elimiin nation of small interests. Of that alone. they were likely to do little but harm on the tiny farmlands of the Indian peasan- try. but he could now see that while the his American farmer. as the perfect. with several square miles to farm.

Nor did he ever fail. to back a fellow-countryman against the world. and make more accurate measure to ments. line had come an Indian investigator in the to an opposite conclu- With the simplicity and frankness of a he would answer that he supposed his friend would invent more delicate instruments. enable him prove Thus. child. in a foreign country and felt deeply humiliated . student and citizen of the world as others were proud to claim him. if same sion. on the other hand. spirit A strong habit was there. of the of the old Indian civilisation. but what beauty of combination amongst a pack of wolves ? He had an intense objection to discussing the grievances. of combination he was able to admire. or the problems of India. when was done in his presence.PRIDE OF COUNTRY though unconscious expression. which would his point. it was yet 287 . It was useless for Europeans to talk to him of this their theories.

surroundings and opportunities of princes.IN THE WEST he took always on the glory of his Indian birth that And in the midst of the his stand. it was more and more the monk who stood revealed. 288 .

of a current of energy. became the maker of nations. of literatures. He on the one hand. scattering his message over the Eastern world. distant lands. arts and her the scientific systems. that swept out from the homewaters to warm and fertilise the shores of source. birth to the civilisation. before the was twofold. and of future Similiarly. Buddha Indian nation mined the common Indian gave ages. of the Great Teacher was the first borders. in the centuries Christian era. of churches. India. in the great life that I have 289 .XVII THE SWAMI'S MISSION CONSIDERED AS A WHOLE. in countries far own life beyond But within India proper. nationaliser. By democratising the Aryan deter- culture of the Upanishads. The was the mission of Buddha.

God. at hearing the subject of the learned researches of the study poured out as living truths. the truth of force of all faiths. and served. ." he said. "quoted anything but the Vedas and Upanishads. of another. foreign countries. instead of the binding any one. Western scholars were sometimes amazed and uncomfortable. of the ideas of the Vedas and Upanishads.THE SWAMPS MISSION seen. I pose is cannot but think that a double purone of world-moving. but the scholarship of the preacher itself easily offer. nation-making. and from them only that the word strength !" He preached mukti instead of heaven stead of salvation . proved could superior to any tests they His doctrine was no academic 290 . "I have never. Brahman. to Western nations. He had no dogma of his own to set forth. enlightenment inof the instead of the realisation Immanent Unity. with all the fervour of the pulpit. As regarded Vivekananda was the first authoritative exponent.

without able of analysing it. who have struggled continuous- ly for its realisation. a Life whose brightness would. re-enforced of course experience. own by his had convinced him that even such philosophies * as seemed to culminate at a point short of the Absolute Oneness. of purely historic and linguistic interest. and Qualified Dualism. that Dualism. and explanation of. would prove in the end to be dealing It was this life. but the heart's faith of a living people. Books had been to him not the source and fountain of knowledge. * 291 . and left him incapIt had been this same Paramahamsa that had forced upon him the conviction that the theory of Advaita. for twenty-five centuries. the mergence f the soul in the realisation of God. saved and Saviour. but a mere commentary on. as propounded by Sankar- acharya the theory that all is One and there is no second was ultimately the only truth.THE FOCUS OF BOOKS system of metaphysics. life of Ramakrishna them have dazzled him. the doctrine of the ultimate difference between soul and God. in life and in death. but not in His being.

In a world of symbols. realis- As an expression of this goal. every sincere belief was "Bow thy head and adore. we are perhaps that he for justified in feeling opened the door to a deeper regard the sacredness of what is commonbe merely social ly considered to and secular. God will assuredly appear. No would be perfectly similar.THE SWAMFS MISSION with phases only." At each step between the earth and the sun. But when the Teacher of Dukshineshwar set the himself to determine the accessibility of the highest illumination through the life of woman. be said to be untrue ? These sayings referred to two of these Yet which could compatibility of the antagonistic religious ideas of different sects and creeds. of this supreme ation. true. we might conceiv- ably take a photograph. however. said the Swami. "where form in which others worship. for in that man has called on Him." had said Sri Ramakrishna. he proved the service 292 .

" of a good woman was thus that a home was a temple. "Everything. hospitality. ings studied tions. wander- over its during subseqent years. that courtesy. and the fulfilment of duty in the world might be made into one long act of worship. into life the daily In showing. Sri Ramakrishna. wards freedom the rest only leads us . though served by priestly hands. not more a means of grace than the common bread of the household. "is But some of this Maya helps us toMaya." said Sri Ramkrishna. even the of God.THE HOME A TEMPLE of the home as true a altar. multitude of small social formaits India each embodying central religious 293 . The Swami Vivekananda. provided basis and sanction for what was to be a predominant thought with his in his great disciple. broken and distributed by wife or mother. means to God as atten- dance on the the sacraments of the temple. that bondage. name deeper blessed. as I think.

with the greatest delight. this was entirely unconscious. in 1893. he began to see the world outside India. of the skilled seamanship and exquisite courtesy of the Turk. His mind seemed to turn to the thought of the ship's servants. whose childlike devotion to himself had touched him deeply. yet no one around him stood unimpressed by his eager study of the strong points of different peoples. when he had been telling me. "You see. it was by national and patriotic unities that he was confronted. he con- tinued to feel the outworking of the Divine within Man. I drew his attention to the astonishing character of his enthusiasm. I love our Mohammedans !" he said simply. And in these. For many years. as if accus- 294 . in the course of my voyage to- England. and found in all broken gleams of that brightness which he had seen at its fullest in his Master. as naturally as in the creeds and sects of his own land.THE SWAMPS MISSION conviction. One day. But when.

a church whose inmost striving was to express its own 295 . "but what is this want to understand habit of seeing aspect.' this ! And method was his own No one ever before in India became Christian and Mohammedan and Vaishnava by turns !" Thus a nationality. in the Swami's eyes. "We all went by his path to some under extent.THE GREATNESS OF NATIONS ed of a I fault. every people from did it their ? strongest Where it come from Do you recognise in any historical character ? Or is it in ?" some way derived from Sri Ramakrishna Slowly the look of puzzled surprise left his face.' he said 'to put language. and use their 'One must learn. had all the sacredness of a church. He would eat like the and dress people he wanted to un- derstand. us as he Of course it was not so difficult for made it for himself. oneself into another man's very soul." he answered. "Yes. take their initiation. "It must have been the training Ramakrishna Paramahamsa." I answered.

he would sum up the case in terms of the constructive ideals. the more proud he grew of his Indian birth. like epochs. from various points of view successively. he said. "the more up in I think that the whole thing !" is summed manliness By a reflex of consciousness. of a community. never of the defects. "For patthe Japanese For purity. the riotism. and the Japanese notion of marriage he held in horror. the more he became acquainted with the strength and lovableness of other nations. becoming daily more aware of those things in which his own Motherland. stood supreme. ! 296 . Unvaryingly. in her turn. and in one of the last utterances I heard from him on these subjects. The offspring of the Roman Empire he considered always to be brutal. He discussed nations. nevertheless. not blinding himself to any aspect of their vast personality." he was once heard to ejaculate.THE SWAMFS MISSION conception of ideal manhood. "The longer I live.

had always been "to make Hinduism aggressive. in a private conversation." The Eternal Faith must become active and proselytising. from the first." is no other European he added ! with emphasis. that any faith will be made active. the moment it becomes aware of itself as an organised unity ? Did he know that he himself was to make this self.AGGRESSIVE HINDUISM Hindu There ! And for manliness. "who understands. had consisted. of taking own children back who had been perverted from her. according to his own state297 . as does the Englishman. his whole work. and of the conscious and deliberate assimilation of new elements. of making into her fold those of her converts.recognition possible to the Church of his forefathers? At any rate. the in the world. capable of sending out special missions. said the Swami. what should be the glory of a man !" His object as regarded India. Did he know that any community becomes aggressive.

was "spiritual truth. had not India. of "a search for the common bases of Hinduism. and declare them. and give birth to." really meant by the word called by that name were refused by some of her children the Jains for example yet the Jains were none The books the less Hindus for that. all scriptures. within two centuries of his death." Those laws of experience that underlie. All that is true is 298 .THE SWAMPS MISSION ment. leaving results to take care of themselves. were what she "Vedas. Had not Buddha preached renunciation and als of the national Nirvana. too. would fall back upon the essentials." He felt instinctively that to find these and reassert them. the only guide she proposed to the individual soul. He Hinduism clamed held that the one authority which to rest upon. become a powerful empire ? So he. and because these were the essentilife. was the one to the way of Mother-Church the joyous opening conviction of her own youth and strength.

not as revealed truth to be accepted. and this being conceived of. to preach a religion of which Buddhism is nothing but a rebel child. only a distant echo !" Even as the books. but as accessible truth to be experienced.THE GLORY OF HINDUISM Veda. it follow- ed that there could never be any antagonism^ 299 . "I go forth. and the Jain is to the full as much bound by his view of truth as any other. he would claim that glory of the Vedic scriptures was unique in the history of religion. For he would extend the sphere of the Hindu Church to its utmost. With her two wings he would cover all her fledglings. however. Truth being thus the one goal of the Hindu creeds. warn- ed man that he must go beyond all books." he had said of himself before he left for America the first time. alone amongst all the authoritative books of the world. with all her pretensions. but vastly more for the fact that they. And this not merely because of their great antiquity. "I go forth. and Christianity.

giv- ing birth to the doctrine of the Ishta Devata* the idea that the path of the soul is to be chosen by itself he held to be the one universal differentia of Hinduism. as it now and then creed. a greater glory still ever been known to protest against the ! right of the individual to perfect freedom of thought and belief. between scientific and this reli- gious conviction. In fact the Swami saw the immense capacity of the Indian peoples for that organised conception of science peculiar to the modern era. This last fact indeed. in Hinduism.THE SWAMFS MISSION real or imagined. Even sectarianism. of faith every possible and culture. making it not only form of -of tolerant. Nor had the Hindu clergy. * The hosen Ideal. and allying itself. but absorbent. 300 . characterised tion that God Himself is the temper by the convicof the believer's and his limited group the one true church. No advance of knowledge had ever been resisted by the religious intellect of India.

but who can in the sky ?" had said the Master. It constituted as Sri Ramakrishna had said. and while this had resulted in a great rigidity of cus torn. so inimical to the tree. he pointed out. "All men hedge hedge in the fields of earth. as a symptom. But it could not 301 . and characterised by an infinite inclusiveness. The only tests of conformity ever imposed by the priesthood had been social. not of falsehood or narrowness. it mind was implied that to their thinking the eternally free. but fence. The very fact that we could impose limitations.FREEDOM OF THOUGHT will. When the cup of experience should be full. with every statement that man has ever formulated. was a proof that we were still dealing with the finite. was in every case based upon the experimental realisation of religion. The vast complexus of systems which made up Hinduism. but only of youth. the soul would dream only of the Infinite. was regarded by Hinduism. the intellectual so necessary to the seedling.

as distinctive of Indian thought in general. was that of reincarnation and karma. was able to set forth in a few brief words. On the relation of Creator aud created. whatever the form of thought or worship. universality of truth. First of these special conceptions. as equal elements in a dualism which can never be more than a relative truth. ending in the manifestation of the the divine nature of man. with which India might be said to be identified. In a few 302 . was that of the cyclic character of the cosmos. as actually realised. at Chicago. which Vivekananda. And finally.THE SWAMPS MISSION be disputed that the thought-area within Hinduism. had been coloured by the accumulation of a few distinctive ideas. in 1893. The next doctrine which he put forward. and these were the main subjects of the Swami's Address before the Parlia- ment of Religions. Hinduism had a profound philosophy. with his certainty of grasp. completed his enumeration of these secondary differentia.

that contribution to the thought of. he had conclusively established the unity. was on his return to India. Vivekananda boldly claimed that even On 303 .CONTRIBUTION TO PHILOSOPHY clear sentences. made is philosophic form. in the main. and delineated the salient features. made to reconcile reaching Madras. of Hitherto. and Visishtadvaita soul. which. No attempt had these ever before been schools. of Hinduism. of the great inspirations contained in the Eternal Faith. and man. a member It own fold. The remainder of his work in the West was. Advaita. the three philosophic systems Un-ism. had three been regarded as offering to the different ideals of liberation. of his the whole world was India. it his people. however. required by India of all her epoch-makers. has been said elsewhere. Dualism. that the Swami. in 1897. in in January 1897. as a religious teacher. or Dvaita. a free gift in modern and universal forms. everywhere. and Modified Un-ism. To him.

to hear the reply " Because I was born for as this. and it was left for me to do !" In India. said that at one of his midday questionit classes. and the great gathering was startled. was the mergence It is in One without a second.THE SWAMPS MISSION the utmost realisations of Dualism and Modifi- ed Unism. first in English and then in Sanskrit. had never be- fore been mentioned by any of the Masters. A man was none or the less a Hindu. in his eyes. and the final bliss. on this occasion. for inof the stance. a member of his audience asked him why. the Swami was extremely jealous of any attempt to exclude from Hinduism any of her numerous branches and offshoots. for all alike. It if this was the truth. for being a Brahmo the member Arya Samaj. The great Sikh Khalsa was one of the 304 finest organisa- . were but stages on the way to Unism itself. was customary to give answers to these questions. for the benefit of such scholars present knew no modern language.

! " 305 . my ! name stands on their books to this day Thus a man was equally Hindu. equally Hindu. these were He never forgot that his problems of his and his religion on the grand scale. in his opinion. the scene in which Guru Govinda Singh uttered his call to sacrifice ! There were. One was old historic Orthodoxy. again and again. three different stratifications be recogthat of the nised in the Faith. he to held. And third came the reforming But all sects of the present period.THE S WAMI'S MISSION tions ever created within the Mother-Church. Another consisted of the reforming sects of the Mohammedan period.. With what ardour he painted for us. country had found its first fulfilment in his youthful own longing to consider the membership of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. and by her genius. that he one day exclaimed is for them to say whether I belong to them or not Unless they have removed it. And he was so far from repudiating this " It membership.

members not usually accessible. if their right to rank as tioned. Brahmo. and with the important From part which they had played in the evolution of Hinduism. ples amongst all faiths. he was allowed to read some of their sacred books. claim of the Jain to a place within the social was a simple matter of and histori- cal demonstration. even the Mohamme- dan. correspondent to their own. of caste Even now they exchange daugh- ters in marriage. and by the good offices of certain of his Jain friends. he was deeply imwith the authenticity of their doctripressed nes and traditions. with And even now. Hindus were seriously quesorthodox houses.THE BRAHMO SAMAJ whether he prefixed dification The fold. to the adjective the moof Arya. The Jains of Western India would be indignant to this day. except to tions. of their own congrega- this study. their temples are served occasionally by The Swami had disciordinary Brahmins. Indian religion necessarily 306 . or Orthodox.

to the Christianised castes of the present day. we to maintain this advance. there was evidence sufficient of the intellectual and spiritual stature of the founders of the school. and deep devotion to the ascetic ideal of saint- hood. In their clear pronouncements on the Germ Theory. said the Swami. moreover. when Christianity should be forgotten. a regard for the immanent humanity in dunib animals. These two features had been isolated and emphasised by the Jains. the Swami hoped that they would rise in social status by adopting the faith of the dominant political faction. confirmed as these have been by the researches of modern science. as a disintegrating force. they would still be able In this way.THE SWAMPS MISSION includes amongst its strongest ideas. The first Jain is in claiming obviously right. that his doctrines were in the With regard place declared by Rishis. and 307 . might hope for a future oblivion jof the nineteenth century. and that in ages to come.

Not so the other non-Hindu faith. by Islamic intruders. was difficult to pardon. and administrative system. enfranchising the simple and democratising the great. As a factor in the evolution of modern India. he could never for a moment be forgetful of the loyal acceptance. was there not the work of Chaitanya in Northern India. The picture that this name called up to our Master's mind was always of an eager confraternity. and the fact that he had succeeded in forming. in too gentle a race. service they Nor could he disregard the had done. In evidence of the possibility of such a development. not only in exalting in conserving the social rights of the lowly-born. in her present-day workings. " a caste of very great res- pectability?" Christianity. for his followers.JAINISM the permanent enriching of the Indian system by its contributions. Islam. of the old Indian civilisation. but also and developing. the ideals of organised struggle and 308 .

a propos of an indiscreetly-written word." Thus far aloof as he stood from the such facts. to Vivekananda's thinking. and a unity still more deeply to be apprehended of the heart than of the mind. was the sowing broadcast of the message of his own Master. political significance of India. His work in the world. personal 309 . told a disciple. that " Shah Jehan would have turned in his grave to hear And finally. Pathan. foreigner. his highest prayer for the good of the Motherland was that she might make manifest himself called a ' ' ' the twofold ideal of "an Islamic body and a Vedantic heart.THE SWAMFS MISSION resistance. as he saw it. He Mohammedanism had Syyed. his But his personal struggles. He. was a unity. constantly pointed out that castes its fourfold ' ' Mogul. as ancient and indisputable as those of and Sheikh and had an inherited and the Indian me- any Hindu. that of these the Sheikhs right to the Indian soil mory.

was to- those who sought to bring this about that he had referred. were bound up in passion for his country's good. India fain is a purely They would their see again studies. and their dreams. toration his than a mere the revival mind. less in Nothing was understood. an inextinguishable He never himself proclaimed nationality. but he was the living embodiment of that idea which the word conveys. when he said "Like the Egyptointerest in logist's Egypt. our Master. incarnates for us in his own love which is person. be it or resIt of Indian past.LOVE FOR ISLAM desires. in the new age." What he himself wanted was to see the strength of that old India finding new application and their undreamt-of He Why expression. see "a dynamic religion. and 310 . their interest in selfish one. that India of books." longed should one select out all the elements to of meanness and decadence and reaction. that great mutual the Indian national ideal. He.

for any such would be rightly applied only to all the men were Pandava and all the women had the greatness heroes. and its indentification with India.THE SWAMPS MISSION call them 'Orthodox' It ? too grand. too use. that home where of Sita or the fearlessness of Savitri. alike. not because he sympathised with one party more or less than with the other. At least equal to this dislike of ignorance was his horror of the identification of India with what is known as Occultism. He stood aloof from of all special questions. but because he saw that for both alike the real question was the recapture of the ideal. whether conservatism or reform . too strong. Orthodoxy was a term vital. On behalf of Woman and the but their People. and would at any time have been . of us was not to put he held that the duty required to change position institutions. He had the natural interest and curiosity of educated persons. these in a to solve own problems.

to gain credence by the "doing of mighty it works. to include some unfamiliar possi- They would have had no superthings natural character whatsoever. and so on. And he moves through the Christian perfection would have seemhad there been a refusal Gospels that its ed to him greater. and must be revised.TRUE ORTHODOXY glad to undergo inconvenience. bilities. it is probably true out. in order the test alleged cases of walking all on water." as I In this matter. beyond pointing the simple moral that our present classification of phenomena was incomplete. to put to We know. however. when for followed up. And in any case. in have heard pointed later 312 . that evidence regarding such matters is apt to vanish into the merest hearsay. in the life of Few Buddha moved him so deeply as the tale of the unfrocking of the monk said of who had worked a the Figure that miracle. handling fire. such occurrences would have had no significance him.

and the other seeking for "a " sign. the Mongolian and Semitic conceptions are sharply opposed . that there a temperamental. who have indeed an intensely individual character. while the Aryan stands between. and charged with secret batteries of supernatural powers. However this may be.THE SWAMPS MISSION by the Swami Sadananda. remote ordinary motives of mankind. 313 with the . as well as intellectual. All this a being from the was hateful it to the Swami. weighing the two. is Asia. the one always despising. and a distinctive respects culture. it will be admitted by many of us that the modern a interest in so-called occult phenomena has in been of largely instrumental creating is mischievous idea that the Oriental mysterious nature. according to Sadananda. divergence between Eastern and Western years. He desired to see understood that India was peopled with human beings. but who are in all all men amongst men. In this respect.

And for Western. according to him. with concentration of interest in sense-impressions. the soul's quest was the breaking of this dream. humanity. indeed. had the generosity to extend West. was. a mere hypotism.INDIA duties." he said once. the same gospel that the I ndian sages had preached in the past to the the in Indian people the doctrine of the Divinity man. as for Eastern. men "Yes had the same vast life is guided by the enthusiasm of a certain great Personality. my own "but what of that filtered ? Inspiration was never out to the world through one man !" . through whatever its forms. a dream. AND MIRACLES and emotions of common- claims. the awakening to a more profound and powerful reality. of no exalted character. He was for ever finding new ways alike ! to express his belief that all potentiality. The life of externals. to He. to be realised by faithful service.

"Don't you see that the age for esoteric interpretations is over ? For good or return. as a culminating effort in the long attempt to exploit one race for the good of another. "It is true that I believe Ramakrisna Paramahamsa to have been But then I am myself inspired inspired. But he never took such European leading seriously. for ill. 315 . that day is vanished. also. in the future. with whimsical amuse- ment. he ex- claimed impatiently. are inspired. to one whoof the questioned him about the old rule teachers.THE SWAMPS MISSION Again he said. of attempts to offer to India religious ideas and organisations which were European -led. to the end of time And on another occasion. disciples will and theirs after ! so on. that truth should be taught only tothose of proved and tested fitness. in matters of religion. And you be . is to be open !" to the world He would speak. never toTruth. And your them and .

and " do not destroy ! Asoka had thus dreamt of the whole world. "Remember said the mighty to those who were to carry the Law Emperor to various countries. in his worldwould necessarily take so long that the primal impulse of faith and energy federation. might in the meantime be forgotten. See that you foster this. therefore. But this dream of Asoka had had to contend with ancient difficulties of communication and transport. as federated by ideas. The preliminary steps. there of his own people was no event in the history to which he returned more constantly than the great Charge of Asoka to his missionaries. with halfknown continents and vast diversity of races. It must have been from the consideration of this 316 . ideas everywhere guided and permeated by the striving towards absolute truth and perfection of conduct.NO MYSTERY Finally. "Remember that every where you will find " some root of faith and righteousness. in the third century before Christ.

and exclaimed. as we all entered the mountain-pass that lies beyond the village of Kathgodam.THE SWAMPS MISSION question that the Swami one day looked up. breaking a long reverie. "Yes! The idea of the Buddhists was one for which None its only the modern world is ready before us has had the opportunity of ! realisation " ! 317 .

"for they alone had the good fortune to possess enemies as well as friends!" Again and again he would return upon the note of rationality in his hero. How he had refused worship! Yet he drew no attention to the fact that it had been offered. religious teachers. he said. "We are sure of Buddha and Mohammed. It was perhaps the Indian it historical authenticity of this life that was the basis of the delight roused in him. Buddha." alone amongst he was wont to say. 'was ' ' 31* . perfect to Buddha was him not only the greatest of Aryans. but also "the one absolutely sane man" that the world had ever seen. was his reverence for Buddha.XVIII THE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA Chief of intellectual passions with the Swami.

he was at least as wondrous in compassion. How calm How mas! Verily was he the bull in the herd and a moon amongst men And perfect as he was in reason.THE SANE into it MAN Enter. Knowing that it would kill him. thanking him for the Great Deliverance. and afterwards sent a courteous message to his host. !' not a man. ! all ye Here receive the key had been so untouched by the vulgar for wonders. he received the food of the pariah. he would have given culine ! ! 319 . but desiring that his last act should be one of communion with the lowly. How had nothing to do with jugglery vast had been the freedom and ! ! He attended humility of the Blessed One the banquet of Ambapali the courtesan. that he coldly excommunicated the lad who had by a word craving He a pole. but a realisation. Religion said. he brought down a jewelled cup from the top of in the presence of the crowd. To save the goats at Rajgir.

the Swami sat reconstructing the story. sobbing out his love for one he has nev^r seen. and as living in its This was done appeal. There comes across the ages to us a touch of his humour when he tells the tale of the youth. and likens his plight to the iterations of humanity about God. and yet make it as binding in its force. Out of five hundred lives renounced for others. by and the impress it made on the men of his own generation. the wife of Buddha. BUDDHA himself up. the power of his own great personality.HIS ATTITUDE TO his life. as it had ever been. as it must have appeared to Jasodhara. and never have I heard the dry bones of For some of history clothed with such fulness or con- 320 . He alone was able to free religion entirely from the argument of the supernatural. whose very name he does not know. had been to stay the distilled the pity that had made him Buddha. He had once offered hunger of a tigress. one evening. us.

as did Buddha. it life. on seeing and choosing his vincingness of self was. imprinted so gently on the foot of the princess that she never woke. and the great night of farewell. Then came the picture of the two. Hindu monk seemed to bride for himself. cared nothing for himself! the victory. "What was Why ! It sacrifice the problem that vexed him ? was she whom he was about to for the world That was the ! struggle ! Then well. ! "Awake ! thou that art ! and help the world " awakened Arise and the struggling prince returned again and again to the bedside of his sleeping wife." and should insist. Each detail of the week and betrothal was dwelt on tenderly. 321 . with its inevitable fare- He " and the kiss. long wedded. of festivities The gods ! sang. "Have you never thought.THE GREAT FAREWELL as he himVivekananda natural enough that a strong personality should have what he conveniently described as"European ideas about marriage. " said the Swami.

to give which is my any answer. is ! father ?" " She disdained The lion that saying "Father. save the street. great. the Truth. he And passes down " father thy the lad. she turned. Jasodhara returned to Kapilavastu. It ? BUDDHA How they were " ? and soft as butter was seven years later. where had lived. when the prince. and would have departed to his garden. from the day he had left her.HIS ATTITUDE TO "of the hearts of the heroes great. in her woman's way. to her son. startled. sharing the religious life also. now Buddha. "as a wife should do. told. give me my 322 inheritance " ! . went. and said "Quick go and ask your ! father for your patrimony And when the child " ! asked "Mother. sleeping in no bed. lo. great. And he entered. clad in the yellow and fruits. while he son. and she cloth. eating only roots took the hem " of his garment. heir of the Sakya line. under no roof. to her and to his But when he had ended.

so it was For Jasodhara and for Sita. welled forth in the Jataka And then all Birth-stories ! For they were all for her ! Five hundred times each had forgotten self. too. and realising that she." ! ! together. ask " ! Thus Jasodhara also became a the pent-up love and pity of those seven years. O Ananda. turning to Ananda. " 323 . seeing Jasodhara. said to ask. Then. a hundred years would not have been enough to try their faith . before Bud" " Give it ! and the gerrua cloth was thrown over the child. And now they would enter into perfection Yes.BUDDHA AND JASODHARA Three times he had dha. the chief disciple said "May women enter the Order ? Shall " ? we give to her also the yellow cloth And Buddha said "Can there be sex in knowledge ? Have I ever said that a woman could not enter for thee to ? But this. yes. longed to be near her husband. was disciple.

and the share taken work by Rajendra Lala Mitra. In 1879. shrine of Bodh-Gaya was carried out great about this time* under the orders of the in this English Government. after a as he ended the tale. that we have passions still Let each one ! "No! No!" mused say '/am ture to not the ideal ! "Let none ever ven- compare another with Him " ! During the years of our Master's boyhood at Dakshineshwar. moreover. The British Government took them in hand in 1879 and completed the work in 1884. the attention of the world had been much concentrated on the The restoration of the story of Buddhism. 324 . the Bengali scholar." said to be in an almost literal translation * The excavations round the great shrine were first commenced by the Burmese Government in 1874.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA the teller. " Let us all own pause. kept Indian interest intense throughout the country. by the appearance of Sir Edwin " Arnold's many parts Light of Asia. the imagination even of the unlearned classes in English-speaking countries was deeply stirred.

who is familiar with the former but not with the latter. That which leads one beyond intellect to the realms of super-consciousness. contrived to read together. with his brethren. J These two books were then being published by the Asiatic Society. and in this too could not rest contented until in 1887 he. not only the Lalita Vistara.' could passing event in the and the seed that thus fell on of the ' the sensitive chief disciple.STUDY OF BUDDHISM from the 'Buddha Charita' of Ashwa Ghosh. t Lit. 325 . The original text appeared in Sanskrit characters and not in Pali. mind of Sri Ramakrishna's during the years of his discame to blossom the moment he cipleship.' but also the great ' book of the Mahajana school of Buddhism. the 'Prajna Paramita. But the Swami was never satisfied with taking things at second-hand. Rajendra Lala Mitra.'f in theorginal. Rajendra Lala Mitra's writings and never be a mere life. Swami's Light of Asia. under the able editing of Dr. to help the general reader. Saradananda. The study of Dr.J Their knowledge of Sanskrit was their key to the understanding of the daughter-language.

"In truth. I would have washed His 326 . saying to himself Is it ' possible that I breathe the air He ' breathed ? That I touch the earth He trod ? At the end of his life again. and sit under the great tree.ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA was initiated into sannyas. was the last . At some time in the years of his Indian wanderings. to someone who questioned him about the personal worship of the Avatars. on the morning of his and this journey. the Swami was allowed to touch the relics of Buddha. probably near the place where they were first discovered. Madam. without some return of that passion of reverence and certitude which must then have overwhelmed him. And he was never afterwards able to refer to this. similarly. Well might he exclaim. he ever made. had I lived in Judaea in the days of Jesus of Nazareth. for his first act then was to hurry to Bodh-Gaya. thirty-ninth birthday ending with a visit to Benares. he arrived at Bodh-Gaya.

his veneration. to one who made a mistake about the name of of his faith. "I am the servant of the servants of the servants Buddha " ! as if even the title of a believer would seem. with this world-attested story of In Buddha. In : in Rama- flash this train of thought was one day when he was describing revealed. he saw Buddha. was the spectacle of the constant tallying of his own Master's life. but with my heart's blood "A Buddhist he said.THE NAME OF A DISCIPLE feet. He told a how beneath the the blanket had been spread for tree. Another factor. saw Ramakrishna Paramahamsa krishna. to to claim. the scene of the death of Buddha. not with !" my !" tears. lived before his eyes. and how the Blessed him One 327 . too exalted it was not only the historic authentiof the personality of Buddha that held city him spell-bound. at least as But powerful. he twenty-five centuries before.

when suddenly there came to him one who ran. But to one who listened. anyone of them might attain. The disciples intruder.'" "A 328 . The Tathagatha. " J Lit. would have treated the man as an maintaining Master's peace at any cost but the about Blessed their death-bed." explained the Swami. "But first he spoke to reprove Ananda for weeping. no! " was sent \ is ever ready. four times. One on He who himself overheard. the most significant moment had been that in which the teller " raised himself at his own words paused. and then only. which is very like your ' Messiah. "resting on his right side. he said. happened Buddha held himself free to die. and saying "No. and to that.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA had lain down. he raised his and taught." to die." The immortal story went on to its end. And with his last breath he elbow. This and then. like a lion. forbade them to worship any. for instruction. word. but a realisation. The Buddha was not a person.

but Sri Ramakrishna intervened. 1 886. in brief And Paramahamsa there rose before the mind the story of one. destined to learn from that Teacher.* " ' and he in perpetual flux Sri and fusion. that his thoughts " ' were constantly with Form. IT 329 . And in these Ramakrishna entered into Mahasamadhi at the gardenhouse of Krishna Gopal Ghosh in Cossipore. * Vide Vinaya Pitaka. feeling. case of Ramakrishna "/saw this. you know. " in the also the would have refused disciples admission. Part I. from Buddha's teachings. and arrived at Here Cossiporef only when he lay dying. ! parenthesis. Sudden references and abrupt allusions would show it. motion. The Swami was always deeply pre-occupied with the historic and philosophic significance of Buddhistic doctrine. sensation. Sacred Books of the East Series.THE TEACHING OF BUDDHA on his elbow and taught. and teaching him. insisting on receiving the new-comer." and said.' quoted one day. who had travelled a hundred miles. " knowledge are the five categories.

like the rhinoceros the lion. as he dwelt on the 330 . unstained by as the wind. Do thou wander alone. for it is not. as the accents of that Disciple himself broke upon the inner ear. and fell back on the deathless charge of the Dhammapada to the soul "Go forward without a path ! : Fearing nothing.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA lies Maya. he paused a moment. Of anyone wave. to- was Kapila's philosophy. it he went on. nothing can be predicated. like the rhinoceros "" ! "Can you imagine what was ?" their strength he said one day. It but was. I Wander "Even as alone. this Know. and isgone. caring for nothing. not trembling at noises.. "but his great Disciple brought the heart make live And then. O Man. the water. " ! thou art the sea " /' Ah. Even Even not caught in a net. as the lotus-leaf.

And self-interest spoiled all. Krishna was was more politic. not a person * Verily was He the only man in the world who was ever quite sane. The world before now has seen even the Avatar wiser. because He ruined by compromise. But someone else stepped forward. because He had loved him most. and said no for Ananda had been guilty of weeping at ! the death-bed. and the dispute "One said it should be as to the President. Ananda. " And so he was passed over " " ! But Buddha. he went on. all over Asia.NO COMPROMISE picture of the First Council. But Buddha would have no compromise. And his reply was only 'Buddhahood is an achievement. and lost. " made the fatal mistake of thinking that the whole world could be lifted to the height of the Upani- shads. But Buddha would have been worshipped as God in his own lifetime. tortured to death for want of recognition. for a moment's compromise. the only sane man ! ever born " ! .

"You Western folk want action You cannot \ opinion. with his hurled ' " headlong down the steep abyss' The whole of that were well exchanged for a couple of ! lines of Browning !" It had been his this epic vigour of the story.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA Swami's Indian clearness of thought spoke in tne for our Christian contempt the leaning towards worship of suffering. however." People had told ! liking. "Yes Yes!" he reiterated. that had carried Christianity over the Roman world. him in the West that the of Buddha would have been more greatness This he appealing. in had appealed to the Roman. Therefore the world will always love the epic. that The crucifixion yet perceive the poetry of every common little incident in life What beauty could be ! 332 . had he been crucified had no hesitation in stigmatising as "Roman "The lowest and most animal brutality. she has never produced a Milton. it was." he pointed out. is for action. Fortunately for India.

through the window. and the fire burns wife is safe. and gathers in to the wall under the dripping eaves. to-night * The Swami was here making a rough paraphrase. ha Yellow Garb stay there It's good ! ! ! enough for you!' 'My bright. But after Nirvana. The rain is pouring down. of Rhys David's metrical rendering of the Dhaniya Smtta. babes sleep if sweet ! Therefore ye !' may ye will.THE SONG OF THE COWHERD greater than that of the story of the young mother. cattle are housed. and the wind rising. the cowherd catches a glimpse of a face. and he comes to ! the cowherd's hut. O clouds. from the Sutta Nipata. And My and my rain. As much had been left many times India ! before. and thinks 'Ha. then he begins to sing. from memory. in Fausboll's translation of the Dhammapada. coming to Buddha with her dead boy ? Or the incident of the goats see the Great Renunciation was not ? You in new Gautama was the son of a petty chieftain. See Rhys Davids' American Lectures. 333 . "Within. look at the poetry * " It is a wet night.

The stream ' is full. is known form its mention in ther Buddhist books e. all "My mind My firm. the Barber) has been lost . without. goes on. senses are in. my house the Barber's! ' I ran. the roads are firm. if ye will. but the fact that there was such a writing in existence. and the hay cowherd 'The fields are is all fast in the barn. "Or what could be more ' beautiful than the Barber's story ? f The Blessed One passed by my house. My ye heart is Therefore ye !' may rain. if will. to-night "Again the reaped. Awaited me the Barber ! t The original from of this anecdote. 334 . g. in contrition till at last the cowherd and wonder. under the name of Upali Prichcha (The Questions of Upali. but He turned and awaited me. and. The Vinaya Pitaka. and becomes a disciple. as it appeared in the Buddhist texts in old times.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA "And gathered the is Buddha answers from controlled. O clouds. rises. Therefore ye to-night * 'And so it may rain. O clouds.

five hundred of when images. with its three cycles five Even me hundred years of law. O ' Lord. near Thee?' !' ' ' ! And He said 'Thou mayest the poor Barber He was epitomising the history of Buddhism one day. Only the influence of Buddha was paramount ! The 335 . with temples and priests of its own order Nothing of the ! sort idea was always within Hinduism. O Lord. to say. with thee ?' And He "And I Yes Yes ! ' 1 ! to me the Barber I ?' ! said ' Is ' Nirvana !' for such as And He 4 said Yes Even ! for me the Barber ! And I said 'May I follow And He said 'Oh yes ' after Thee !' Even / 'And I the Barber ! said 'May to I stay. sudddenly he broke off. 'May said I speak. and five hundred of tantras. that there was ever a religion in India called Buddhism. "You must not imagine.THE BARBER'S STORY 4 I said.

believe. a terrible winter followed terrified their disestablishment. And with its inevitable deposition of the local Nags. which Kashmir was an interesting morsel of history dwelt on by the Swami. by reinstating the Nags as saints. in the circle of missionary one. was that of the adoption of the Indian apostolate in that country. with time and study. Strange to say. and made the nation monastic. or minor divinia piece of human ties of the new faith. from their position of deities. And the truth of the view so expressed can as I "" only. Acccording to it. Buddhism formed complete churches only of countries. become increasingly apparent to scholars.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA at one time. and the peo- ple hastened to make a compromise between the new truth and the old superstition. or mysterious serpents living beneath the springs. nature not without parallels elsewhere One of the great contrasts between ! Buddhism and the Mother-church lies in the 336 .

the condition of the embodied of spirit is seen as an soul ever-fretting limitation. as also in a lesser degree to those who have only dwelt in its shadow. light. then. that existence of pure is its ideas. while Buddhism teaches peated that this seeming identity is but illusory and tion of Karma by impermanent. On the merits of these rival theories. against the prisoning bars of the body. seeing outside and beyond them. to the sowing of fresh seed. the body a veil and a barrier. the life of superconsciousness has ever opened. great By those to whom.RE-INCARNATION fact that the AN ILLUSION Hindu believes in the accumula- a single ego. the Swami would often sit and ponder. It is in truth another soul which inherits what we have amassed for it. To these. instead of a 337 . as to him. of concentrated emotion. of changeless ideal is bliss and unshadowed its which and goal. through reincarnations. The encaged beats wings rebellion ceaselessly. out of our experience. and proceeds.

It was this train of feeling that expressed itself now and then in our Master's utterances of impatience at current conceptions. The doctrine of re-incarnation article of 'a scienti- was never treated by him as an faith To himself personally. undivided. and find That. Pleasure and pain are but the Primal Light seen through the prism of personal consciousness. radiant. and they want to wake up the memory of many lives " Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof! Yet this question. never failed to interest him. He would always bring it satisfying forward. as with the words like when he broke out "Why. it was fic but of a deeply speculation' merely. white. kind. The one longing is to rise above them both. one life in the body is ! a million years of confinement. of the relation to one another of the different personalities in a single long chain of experience. in opposition to our Western educadoctrine that all tional knowledge begins 338 .HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA means to mutual communing.

and the intellect of Sankaracharya 339 . to the final perception that the many were all unreal. " was al. after long thought in silence.BUDDHISM AND AD VAITA this with the senses. to ! claimed one day. when all had been said. and the One alone Real ? " Yes he exillusory. thus to off Sankaracharya against Buddha. by calling in Advaita to the aid of Buddhism. that beginning of knowledge is often lost in Yet the remote past of the given person. Perhaps it was the unification of . on his side. the question still remained whether in the end Buddhism would not be proved philosophically right. that so delighted him since the one idea was thus shown to be imperfect. " The heart of Buddha apart from the other. 'Buddhism must be right! Re-incarnation is 4 only a mirage ed. at the last. Was not the whole notion of continuous identity give way. pointing out. history involved. as it play were. ! But by the path of Advaita alone it this vision is to be reach" ! Perhaps gave him pleasure.

"no^ motive for doing which good and not I. surely a sense in' which the motive for doing right is if we are to feel that another. if not they. and not oneself. she said. of someone else. In this vein was the attention he gave to the argument of a certain Western woman. very are to gather the fruit of our efforts !" "But that was not the argument * " ! un- There is much strenghened will bear the for our sin. or honour of another. " " I find. but others. was greatly deeds. children. The ity extraordinary sense of social responsibilinvolved in that rendering. struck later said to by the remark. and a day or two someone near him-"That was a impressive point that was made the other day. against the Buddhistic view of karma. * had escaped this particular mind. punishment 340 . We may compare with this our own sense of responsiblity for the property. that there can be no reason for doing good to people. who was himself quite incapable of thinking in this way. will reap the fruit !" The Swami.HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA ways his definition of the highest possibility of humanity.

Let us suppose in it to stand. I know. in the popular mind. by the history of ? the Asokan and Pre-Asokan periods Had he thought of the vast signi- .THE MODERN HINDU MIND graciously answered the person addressed. which had dominated Indian education since the Guptas. know. but our friend would have done greater justice to her own idea. Don't you see that there is but one reply the theory of Advaita ? For we are all one !" Had he realised that the distinction be- tween the mediaeval and modern Hindu minds lay precisely here. "The point was that someone else than my would reap the merit of my deed !" " he replied quietly. that in the modern idea of India there would always be a place accorded to Buddhism and Buddha ? Had he told himself that the Mahabharata and Ra- mayana. that we are deceived those who can never doing service to receive that service. were henceforth to be supplemented. if she had put it in self "I <( this other way.

Great and beloved Mother-church as she is. feeding with knowledge the daughter-nations ? However this be. and not her daughter. her. .HIS ATTITUDE TO BUDDHA ficance to Asia of such a generalisation. 342 . of the new life to be poured from Hinduism into- the veins of Buddhist countries. and of the vigour and strength to be gained by India from the self-recognition of the herself. It was this mother. But never will she say that truth . She has place for his orders understanding and reverence for his teachings mother-love for his flock and sympathy and welcome for the young he brought to form of the first . she has room to all time for the glorious- and most lion-hearted of all her Avatars. that he found all-inclusive. is conis fined to his presentment that salvation only to be found through the monastic rule that the path to perfection is one and one alone. we must never forget that it was in Hinduism that he saw the keystone of the arch of the two faiths. Mother-church. .

' Of Aowthis was Hinduism never presumed to enunciate any rigid law.HINDUISM ALL-INCLUSIVE That was perhaps the Vivekananda's ism. is the Real. whatever it be. but Hinduism. remains ever the religion of faithfulness to daily duty. ligion in spite of its exaltation of monasticism. of a monastic order.<_ as illusion. as the path by which man may attain to God. by the orders of a married woman. One of the highest and greatest expressions of the Faith put into the month of a butcher. through monasticism fulfilled the Hindu might be life. in greatest of the Swami pronouncements on Buddh: contrast between lies ' this "The great point of < Buddhism and Hinduism in the fact that Buddhism said 'Realise all ^= Real. to a is Thus Buddhism became the resannyasin. preaching. through any state of All alike were roads to the One Real. while Hinduism said which he said ' ise that within the illusion to be done. The Buddhist command could only be carried out . " 343 .

Be this as it may. 344 . in their very nature. cannot be communicated.XIX THE SWAMI'S ESTIMATE OF HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY Some lives are of the deepest convictions of our gathered from data which. yet remains irresistible to the mind that makes that it. in its vividness. in caprice. The instantaneous estimate of a motive or a personality. good or according to coinciding with fact. for instance. impulse of emotion. the strong subjective impression will colour much of the subsequent thought of him who its has experienced it. is to say. It false. may be either true or it may be based on a to subtle species of observation. and will appear to others as wisdom or ill-luck. to any other. can influence no one but our- selves. possible only a few or it may be only a vagrant .

one is visualise no less than three striking subjective experiences. Some if such train of thought to is necessary. in which If so. from which method much peculiar intoning Sanskrit a method closer to that of Gregorian plainsong he had own of 345 . for the sake of the arguement. it is have no share. that immediately becomes some minds may enjoy others occasional access within themselves to stores of sub-conscious memory. Chief of these probably. chanting Vedic learnt his riks.SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCES In the same way. was that vision of an old man on the banks of the Indus. which exert- ed an undoubted influence over my Master's mind and thought. if. conceivable we grant the truth of the theory it of re-incarnation. some ence between it itself. clues of the results of such an just possible that excursus might furnish even though the differand pure imagination could only be appreciated by the exploring mind value.

It was in the discipleship at Dukhineswar. probably in January 1888. in the little room that formed his study. Thou Eflulgent ! It is a great happiness to know that the Swami Abhedanands has learnt and can reproduce this Sanskrit intoning. and this fact he expressed. Aryan of He found something remarkably sympathetic to this mode in the poetry Sankaracharya. by saying that that master must have had a vision like his own. meditating. of the Swami Vivekananda. in which he had * caught "the rhythm of the Vedas. was seated at home. 346 ." Another him.HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY than this. is the ordinary singing of the Vedas. when * He The Swami Saradananda says that this vision occurred about two years after Sri Ramakrishna had passed away. similar experience had come to when he was his days of quite young. The passage which he heard was that Salutation to Gayatri " which begins "O come. In he always believed himself to have recovered the musical cadences of the ancestors.

for I of the entrance of youth. lost in an awestruck gaze. it Buddha I in his "And fell at knew self. But at this. as if seat. The devotee rose from his to the lad.A VISION OF BUDDHA suddenly there appeared before him a tall man it and largely built. in whose face was a calm so deep and so established. his feet. a fit of terror overcame the boy. then he stood and prostrated himself before his visitant^ still. Suddenly it seemed as if the form before him were about to speak. he slipped quietly out of the room. when he spoke into his room." Nor would it how much of the throbbing energy was the Lord Himbe easy to measure of his feeling about his Buddha.' of his and compassion. sacrifice the conviction of the realisation overwhelming infinite 'sanity. 347 . at him. and closed the door behind him f This was the vision to which he had referred. that seemed looking up both pain and pleasure had been forgotten during infinite time. and without waiting to hear.

at least. The Blessed Sacrament appeared to him to be only an elaboration of the Vedic prasadum. he felt that he had found the origin of the tonsure. and when he came across a picture of Justinian receiving the Law from two shaven monks. in known to Swami on his way home 1897. to find the Christianity with identity of Hinduism in a thousand points of familiar detail. he had been like others before him. Europe. He could not but remember that and even before Buddhism.HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY was born of he had felt him. India had had monks nuns. that hour in his boyhood. in to January of the that during year One Catholic gathers travels startled. The priestly tonsure reminded him of the shaven head of the Indian monk . third and last of these determining as is in so far. those about him his occurred to the India. when that He stood revealed before The visions. and that Europe had taken her 348 .

had a Jewish disciple. and led to the more or less careful study of the Talmud. at number of last. as Hindu ritual had itsmusic. in certain kinds of parts of meditation. lights. am unconsciously. for the dream about to recount. than is at all common. Thus he had a clearer sense of the background of thought. he was Another I train of thought that may have prepared him. by whom orthodox America.STUDYIOF WESTERN FAITHS orders from the Thebaid. Henceforth he could not believe t hat Christianity was foreign. Even the he saw it practised^ different reminded him of the touching of the body. 349 S. and its sign of the cross. Paul . its incense. lay in the fact that in he had. he had been introduced inta Jewish society. when he found it entered furnished chairs. And the culmination of this seriesof observations was reached. and with an insufficient ! really and no pews Then. against which stood forth. at home. some cathedral.

that his familiarity. of account. he said once. In examining the birth of religions. It was night. coupled as this would be with his own conviction that we are now on religion the eve of a great new synthesis in and partly in his vision itself. afterwards. with the move- ment known as Christian Science. which was stamped so vividly on his brainas to stand in his fibre memory amongst on which he still on her actual living experiences. appeared as a movement I of the last The grounds member of this for his triad.HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY Still an added factor is Christianity. the nature of magic. was 350 . and the ship had embarked at Naples. and a third. that there were three elements of which he thought we must always take doctrine. which most commonly healing. in in his study of worth remembering. ritual. or miracle. inclusion of find partly in his observation of Christian Science and the allied movements. was America.

sons of the the theras. The Swami . and bearded man appeared before " Observe well this place that him." the speaker gave two words Christianity. pointing " to the ground. " The proofs are all here. and putra. beyond recovery. an elder Buddhist monks. 351 . to . ! Bat cannot remember the Sanskritic derivation N. tianity one of which was Therapeutce and showed both to be derived direct from Sanskrit roots. I It is my own belief that the second word was Esstnt. meaning advanced was. frequently spoke of this dream in after years. "Dig. An old In support of this origin of began.HIS DREAM when he had this dream. and you will find The Swami woke. This is the land in which Chrisway to Port Said. saying I show to You are now in the island you. and always gave the two etymologies but the other seems* nevertheless. of Crete." added the old man. be the Of therapeutce lost. word for son. amongst the from thera. feeling that he had Sanskrit ! * alas.

this time He confessed it afterwards that up to to had never occurred him to doubt that the historic personality of Christ." was the answer. He understood of all at once that it was S. Midnight. is What " " turning the time ? he asked him.HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY had no common dream. would have lain in his mind meaningless and unrelated. and after this. And where Just fifty are we ?" " ! " miles off Crete This unexpected coincidence startled the Swami. and tumbled out on deck. As he did so. Paul alone whom we was could be sure. ' from his watch. lending inevitable emphasis to the dream itself. he could never rely upon it. The experience now seemed to precipitate elements. to take the ship's ' air. he met in a officer. fact He saw the than the meaning Apostles of the that the Acts of the an older record he divined that the teaching Gospels. that without it. of Jesus might have originated with the 352 And .

But while his vision thus exercised an undeniable influence over his own mind. while the ancient sect of the Nazarenes might have contributed the name and the person. Nor did this intellectual dubiety in any way dim the brightness of his love for the Son of Mary. subjective alone. led by it to doubt the historic character of Jesus of Nazareth. was to his He might be thinking. with its beautiful sayings. That would be an hypothesis for secular scholarship alone. he it would have thought it insanity to offer as evidence to any other. reverberating out of some unknown antiquity. but he never referred to Crete as the probable birth-place of Christianity. The function of such an experience. The admitted ing of historic spectacle of the meet- Indian and Egyptian elements at Alexandria was the only geographical factor of which he ever spoke. if admitted at all. to prove or disprove. it is the perfection of the 353 w .IDEALS AS IDEALS Rabbi Hillel. To Hindu thinking.

in his boyhood. feet of the Divine to in or to say. natural. moreover. whom "Do you been create such " they who could things must themselves have the ideal that they held up for not think that ? worship 354 . as ideal. and not the truth of setting in it space and time. I days of Jesus of Nazareth. picture to give blessing a of the Sistine Madonna. in answer I an the enquirer. touching the child. To his the to Swami refuse. out to reverence. washed His feet. instead . my but my heart's blood !" In this.HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY ideal. on a similar question. its that matters. "Had lived in Palestine. to be answered. he had consulted anxiously. not with with would have tears. was only of therefore. he had the explicit sanction of Sri Ramakrishna.

perhaps. These were facts which had impressed the mind of Vivekananda even more deeply.XX WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE The Temple by of Dakshineshwar was built the wealthy Rani Rashmani. a few miles above Calcutta. The whole story rested on the building. Ramakrishna no Viveka- nanda. without the Temple of Dakshineshwar there had been no Ramawithout krishna. erected on the Ganges side. than he himself ever knew. just before the middle 355 . no Western Mission. in a A woman the all sense. Humanly speaking. Sri Ramakrishna took up his residence there. mother of that whole movement of which the disciples of his Master formed parts. a woman of the Koiburto caste. and without Vivekananda. of the people had been. and in the year 1853. as as one of the Brahmins attached to its service.

in her time. by inducing her husband to pay the enormous sum demanded. was a story is still woman told. Rani Rashmani. bound to the maintenance of Brahmin supremacy. The of how she defended the fisher-folk of Calcutta against wrongful taxation. of heroic mould. on the lordly Maidan. If the English objected to the religion of the Indian people. purely Hindu a thing that under a government. From this he inferred the importance of the non-cognisance of caste. she said 356 . would never have been possible. by centralised governments in India. as the Swami himseLr was not slow to point out.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE And that was of the nineteenth century. or Park. heavy traffic She fought a like good fight over the right of her household to carry the images of the gods along the roads she owned. the outcome of the devotion of a rich woman of the lower castes. and then the insist on closing the river against of the foreigners.

she her wits to bear on her bankers. held him to be religion-mad. had to bring all Early in her widowhood. ness. it WOMAN to build walls was a small matter at the disputed points. Later. the Rotten Row of Calcutta.A STRONG in effect. to right and left of the procession-path. a great law-suit. with the result of breaking the continuity of the grand pleasure-drive. working-capital. 'Mathur Babu' as he was bears a that figures largely in the early history of Sri Ramakrishna. with the greatest tact and adroitand was mistress of her own affairs thenceforth. became a household word in Hindu Calcutta. in order to get into her own hands the heavy balance which she required for This she accomplished. The husband ter. however. It was he who pro- name tected the great devotee. when It all around was he who 357 . of Rani Rashmani's daughcalled. in which the ready-wit of her replies through counsel carried all before her. And this was done.

the Rani Rashmani genius had Sri recognised religious of Ramakrishna. when all was over. so orthodox had he been. And late at night. and the guests had dispersed. had that as the first young come to Dakshineshwar. when Ramakrishna. in temple. his wife's Mathur Babu acted as of In these things. the religious ceremonies of the opening day. he had to assist. that And yet. hour after hour. As the younger brother of the priestin-charge. 353 . the representative mother. from the beginning. without permitting duties to be demanded of him.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE continued him in the enjoyment of residence and allowances. Brahmin of Kamapukur. and in her adhesion to unfaltering proved first insight. he broke his fast for the fried lentils first time. with a handful of bought in the bazaar. he could not tolerate the idea of a built and endowed by a low-caste woman. But he would eat none of the prasadam. it is said.

too. And we may hold that his whole life declares the conviction of the equal religious importance of all men. regarded the which he belonged as one whose all was cast for time with the cause of Woman This was the cry that rose to his lips instinctively. message that he would send to the Rajah of Khetri. of the rigid conservatism to which his childhood in the villages had accustomed him. are justified in believing that We he when at last found his mission. the and the People.SPRUNG OF THE PEOPLE Surely this fact deepens the significance of the position which he subsequently occuIt was by no pied in the Temple-garden. rather than corroborative. he recognised it as subversive. Order lot to at any rate. when he dictated to the phonograph in America. with 359 . oversight that he became the honoured guest and dependent of the Koiburto Rani. It was the one thought. whatever their individual rank in the social army. Our Master.

sentimentality (and sentimentality was. that Caste was an institution he was he always studying. A was social formation that like had become a tree that had ceased to false grow. constantly investigated it. 'the overflow of the senses') could cause us Only a to return upon it. "Never " he would then say. alone. whenever he felt himself nearer than usual to death. fixed. in his eyes. phenomenon of all human As an inevitable look upon it as if it life. with him. selfishness. with expectation. forget Woman and the People ! ' ' ! It is of course in moments of the formasocial tion of groups that the intensity of power could is at its greatest. He rarely criticised. were syno- nyms. " the word is.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE which he would turn to the disciple at his side. in a foreign country. and the Swami broodthat ed much over the fact the 'formed? no longer give life or inspiration. he could not had been peculiar to 360 . 'Formed' and dead.

that inspire us to strive for the respect of the smaller number of human beings whom we regard as our peers. not to take sides in monk it. opinion of that the his caste Swami is exclaimed. and on the other. or the pious from the unbelieving. Only let Woman ! and the People achieve education All . But remarks like this were no indication of partisanship. "The the last and finest restraint that holds a man!" And he created the with a few quick strokes picture of the difference differentiate between those standards which the law-abiding from the criminal. to He ignored all the proposals that reached him.ON CASTE Hinduisim. on the one hand. hesitate to It was on seeing an Englishman admit. in that he had once killed cattle Mysore. amongst gentlemen. as its one party leader. to which would have pledged him or another. more constructive moral ideals. those finer. It was for the witness life.

he could not think of any system of schooling which was out of touch with these things. however splendid to his A on the other hand. degraded. and the de. and for this he to what form that education should take. all his reverence for individuality. they themselves be competent to settle. he had a horror of what he called the crime of the " Better anything than unfaithful widow. with the old-time 362 . the luxurious. As view of freedom. that " ! he said.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE further questions of their fate. The white life un- bordered sari of the lonely the symbol of all was to him that was sacred and true. as 'education.' The frivolous. would This was his lived. but rather thinking modernised Indian woman. and felt. lised. Naturally then. he knew enough to understand With that but little was as yet determined.nationa- in appearance. was not educated. in whom he saw the old- time intensity of trustful and devoted companionship to the husband.

Probably this. like true monkhood. was no matter of And unless it held and mere externals. developed the spirit of true womanhood. munity. At the same time. to avoid certain other evils which they had regarded as incidental to its berate postponement. to " True womanhim. chance certain indications of the future A growth of individualism was inevitable. and must necessarily bring later marriage. it was not to be forgotten that early marriage had. He was always watching type. been a delion the part of the comattempt. wonld tend to more than anything do away with the pro- blems created by child-widowhood. in its train. "the ideal Hindu wife. there could be no education of woman worthy for of the name. hood. and perhaps a measure of personal choice. in its time.THE TRUE WOMAN loyalty to the wedded kindred. else. He could not foresee a Hindu woman of 363 . was still.

Modern science women must learn : but not at the cost of the ancient spirituality. who had come across her public works in all parts of the country. while including hers. An Indian sadku. The Rajput story teemed with the strength and courage of the naBut the glowing metal tional womanhood.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE the future. Ahalya Bae Rani had been perhaps the greatest woman who ever lived. would be no exact repetition of it. Each separate inspiration of days gone by had done its work. must flow into new moulds. would naturally think so. entirely without the old power of meditation. The 364 . Yet the greatness of the future. to resume all into herself the greatness of the women of the Indian past. It direct would be that which should best enable in every woman. He saw clearly enough that the ideal education would be one that should exercise the smallest possible influence for change on the social body as a whole. time to come.

his plans for a widows' home. The fire on the Vedic altar. winter was over. and the care of animals. And such departure. out of which dom. in the age.PHYSICAL EXERCISE mother's heart. and an intensity of aspiration more frequent in the cloister spaces. and new when the Thus study half the year in the Himalayas. must form part of the life lived there. than outside it. not fall. Religion. was ever the ideal background. a race of women would be created. or a girls' school and college. must transform themselves into pilgrimages. arose Savitri. were to be heart and back- ground of this schools. there were great green Physical exercise. with her sacred calm and free- of the south winds them- Woman In all must rise in capacity. who should be nothing less than " Bashi-Bazouks of 365 . But with this woman must unite a softness and sweetness. as selves. and gardening. women of the dawning" must be conjoined with the hero's will.

"* lem. But how stern was his discrimination ! of what constituted strength Neither self- advertisement nor over-emotion roused his admiration. The Bashi-Bazouks were the bodyguard of the Caliph. in woman as in man. Strength. They were renowned throughout Europe for their fierceness and courage.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE religion. For members of the Turkish Guard consisted of and 366 . Something He saw plainly enough that what was want- ed was a race of women-educators. but that for guru. save in their ties. their only bond of union. no love. for . after this sort was his dream. Their religion was thus their passion. Their power was broken in Egypt by Napoleon. and they should workout the probwomen. and motherland. * At the by same kidnapped in early childhood from all races and brought up in Islam. His mind was too types steadiness of silence to full of the grand ness old and sweet- and be attracted any form of mere display. strength. No home. and this was how he contemplated making them. and people. and the service of their land and sovereign. many centuries. strength was the one quality he called for. work no save of religion . the soldiers who had been countries.

as he made no definite plans. wherever it might have come from. the peculiar gift of the age of truth. The greater the individual. a class. in all the thought and knowledge that formed to India. such transcendence to be expected and admired. He knew of ! ' no reason why it should be impossible to any woman by strong and simple character 367 . In " his own words. he only said 'Awake! Awake Plans grow and work themselves. in all others. life He There could be no sex in would never tolerate any scheme and polity that tended to bind tighter on mind and soul the fetters of the body. But in this respect. the more would she transcend the limitations of femininity and the more was in mind and character .THE EDUCATED WOMAN as large an inheritance time. woman had as man. He looked. to widows as the first generation of abbess-like educators." Yet he would have welcomed material. to provide naturally enough.

learn to understand both the commands those which characteris- By fulfilling demands. says a recent writer on feminist movements. and organic. silent. and the Swami had no Indian fear of freedom. " held redeemable by All great ends must be freely pursued. But freedom of which he dreamt. they would grow more Indian than ever before. would be indirect. in achieve- ment. women would more and more. as they advanced and the ed the opportunities. of which the past had never dreamt. 368 . Beginning with a loyal acceptance of the standards of society. and availing themselves to the full of their opportunities. of the conscience must be " sincerity. and no the distrust of womanhood. fruit It growth of would be no of agitation.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE and intellect. national life. even while they entered on a grandeur of development. and uprightness of living to make herself a Even burdens vehicle of the highest ideals. clamorous and iconoclastic.

He delighted to point out that to the Hindu 369 . " " To draw pictures of the goddess Saraswati was. " to be down the science of medicine was on one's knees. to him. The new form was always. perhaps. family. cording to him. did the personal freeof Vivekananda show itself more plainly than in his grasp of the continuity of the national life. ac- To study to worship her. he believed essential to the power of religious concentration. even of home and into a was always capable of being wrought grander and more universal passion. All work was a form of renunciation. and the pasturing and care of animals. and Hindu meditativeness an aid to scien t ific insight. sanctified by the old consecration. praying against the demons " The old bhakti of the of disease and filth. Love. cow show ed how receptive was the spirit of Hindu society of new and scientific methods of dairy-farming. Study was tapasya. The training of the intellect to its highest perfection.NATIONAL CONTINUITY dom In nothing.

almost hatred. his own part would have been chosen. To refer to others as "they" was already. whether in modern or mediaeval. failure or achieve- ment. 3/0 . He always united himself Those with the criticised or the condemned. about him realised that if the universe had for- indeed been resolvable into an ultimate mula of dualism. his conception of love was one that admitted of no differentiation between the speaker and him of whom he spoke. When merely with the readjustment of comparisons had to be made. he dealt always with the ideal as expressed either differently by different societies and measured this central aim. to his ears. He could not bear to listen to a criticism that con- cerned itself externals. But he hated the tinkling sound of foreign manners and foreign accomplishments. by Above all. not with Michael the Archangel.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE all Persian to the written words were sacred. English and full as much as Sanskrit.

he does that in even compassion was not motive enough. Compassion. to defy the powers of the universe. on which He would to build the service of others. therefore. he was that which served others with the idea that they were jivas. the ONLY motive is love. over whom he triumphed. therefore. as letters. and " For the Adworship the vision of God. said. the : very this Self. eternally defeated. by himself suffering the utmost to which any single consciousness anywhere might find itself irretrievably doomed. have no such patronage. It was simply the passionate determination to share the hardest lot to which any might be driven without escape. on the contrary. Well might he point certain of his published out. if need be. was worship. regarded them as the Atman.THE BASIS OF SERVICE but with him. Love. "There vaitin. souls love. And this was with him no expression of an inner conviction that he could teach or aid. was no privilege to be compared with the trust .

and they Swamiji ! will take me to salvation " ! A like intensity of his attitude towards those " " chivalry spoke. girls whom she taught. He remembered. and yet be steadfast. in whom he called Education and knowledge the People. this.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE of a great service. with eager awe. pointing to the little " I have no help. she said. priests purifying themselves for the service of the altar. the words of Mataji Maharani. But these blessed ones I worship. on his way rejoicing not the saved !" As . " the Mahakali Pathshala. Having they would work out their own destiny. who were chosen for the sacred task of woman's education. and the will to endure all. "who should go says. from within. "It is the Saviour. higher in the social scale. 372 . and often in " repeated. In this view of the task freely." he in one of his letters. as much as of their brothers. the Mahratta woman who founded Calcutta. must they come forward. were the right of these.

and taught to all alike the Perfect Way. Naturally then. In the age when all Swami was the philosophy of the Upanishads had been the exclusive privilege of the Aryans. In a place and a period where the initiation of the great Masters was the cherished culture of the few.EDUCATION FOR ALL before him. It is now the dawn of the modern age. the Tathagatha arose. that the energy and co-operation of the whole nation was necessary. if He material brought back to India. of Nirvana by Renunciation. with its realisation of manhood by secular knowledge in India. Ramanuja. the the tradition of from Buddha only continuing the great Indian teachers. how to give secular knowledge to the People. from the tower of Conjeeveram. to Vivekananda the absorbing question was. prosperity was ever to be And he knew well enough that the restoration of material pros- 373 . saw. downwards. of course. proclaimed the mystic text to all the pariahs.

birth as the charter of lead- The sublimated common-sense that men call genius. was an imperative need. or in the peasant taken from the plough. where would Tantia Bhil have been that the whole of India ? He believed to was about be 374 . A God. was not be trusted ! to in the next for the kingdom of felt. intellectual life and religious. new could only be poured into the veins of the higher classes. heaven He also probably. who could not in this life give a crust of bread. that only by the spread of knowledge could the country as a whole be kept steadfast in its reverence for the greatness of its own inherited culture. In any case. lieved that the one thing to be renounced was any idea of ership. he with his accustomed vigour. by a great movement of He beforth-reaching to the democracy. was to the full as likely to occur in the small shopkeeper. If the Kshatriya had had any monopoly of courage. as in the Brahmin or the Kayasth.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE parity said.

of course. for the inclusion of some truction in the intercourse of the begging with the humbler classes. and some means Again he secular ins- for simple chemical experiments. and of no others. by wandering students.THE NEED OF THE VILLAGES thrown into the melting-pot. attractive invitation. in his published correspon- dence. All this. and that no man could say what new forms of power and greatness would be the result. for the teaching of the villages. lantern. the meaning of his constant plea. who would carry the magic begs friars. The infinite danger that attended the intro- duction of knowledge by foreign minds from foreign sources. was never This is for one moment hidden from him. alone or in combina375 . He saw plainly that the education of the Indian working-folk was properly the task of the Indian lettered classes. the camera. to the New Learn- For that learning itself every man would have to struggle. would be little more than a support and ing.

first started the special undertaken by the Order. We to this. see again. and never since abandoned. in the days . however. "what happened 376 before. in such exultation and nothing caused him 1897 as to see his Brahmin disciples nursing low-caste patients through " " he said. Swami was empha- As befitted a religious teacher. in 1899. he was seeking workers " to devote themselves to the " Indian pariahs. It was he who found the money that sanitation missions. the tically right. In such schemes. as a measure for plague-prevention. the work that he himself initiated and consecrated was almost always some special service of the hungry or the sick. therefore. is the first step in the popularising of new culture.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE tion. Throughfor out his years in the West. referring cholera. But there can be no doubt that to a large population the is to bring home there idea that a world of thought and knowledge unattained by them.

that was the last- born child of his love and pity. But his heart was not less bound up in other undertakings.MEANS OF SER VICE of Buddha. which. It has a marvellous degree of influence. the magazine is often a kind of peripatetic school. college. It carries ideas on the one hand. though less directhis. Under present circumstances in India. were more purely educational. and university. The same number of a periodical will sometimes 377 . The well-being of the various magazines in which the Order was interested. this educational value that made the Swami offers a and so eager about the fate of various papers conducted by his brethren and disciples. means of self-expression on the and it was an instinctive perception of other. were matters of the deepest import in his eyes. feel " And those who knew him best. all in one. and the industrial ly education carried on by the Orphanage at Murshidabad. a peculiar reverence and affection for the little hospital in Benares.

referring to this paradox. his instinct would lead him to the same method in the case of geography. against those theorists who seem to consider that aggregations of business are justified in proportion to their size. when the tion. did not concern itself with the Indian people only. as he 378 . True to his Oriental birth. however. " The Hindu's means of knowledge is meditaand this serves him well. Unfortunately. subject is mathematics. or. The Swami himself said. He with held that the age occupy of of humanity now dawning itself would mainly the problems the working-folk. however. he would always defend the small farmer or the small distributor. and not " much geography comes that way idea of the ! Vivekananda's passion of pity. and in ing this affords an exact index to the popular mind of the Transition.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE combine the tions loftiest transcendental abstrac- on one page with comparatively faltersecular speculations on the next.

Yet he never doubted that for man. or could do. " he said. as his letters show. the world over. by the apparent democracy of conditions there. but. Later. he was greatly attacted.PROBLEMS OF THE SUDRA expressed it. . landed in the West. he underlying selfishness had a clearer view of the of capital and the life struggle for privilege." now looked to him At this riper stage of experience. 379 . what tumults through through " what tumults He spoke like one gazing direct into the future. though the for listener hoping eagerly silent. he was inclined to believe that China had gone nearer ethics than to the ideal conception of human newer countries had ever done. the coming age would " " be " for the People. one day. and his voice had the but oh. ! " ! ring of prophecy waited. and confided to some- one that Western " like hell. more. he only became lapsing into deeper thought. When he first with the problems of the Sudra. We are to solve the problems of the Sudra. in 1900.

as the trampling of of nations. whatthe Whenever salutation. And Thou the misery and wretchedness. turmoil and armies. She alone ever be the road. as the quarrelsome and wicked ! mingling of oppressor and oppressed in a common hope and terror. in those of the " And then. She it Master's is who unites in Herself the extremes of She shines experience.WOMAN AND THE PEOPLE have always believed that it was for the guiding and steadying of men through some such age of confusion and terror. through is evil as the Goal. grew louder and clearer to the mental ear. that in our I life and that of Ramkrishna Paramahamsa. " Thou art the welfare and happiness in the " homes of the art virtuous. Swami would would hear. he would " recite. this great chorus of the historic drama. the worship of the Mother has sounded such a mighty Udbodhan. through good. chant like Her one of the subdued music some orchestra behind a single melody. one 380 .

Thou Thou Thou terrible dark Night ! the Night of Delusion the Night of ! DEATH! To THEE our salutation Thee we salute. " . To Thee our salutation.SALUTATION TO THE MOTHER would hear the thunder of the great Ascription rise above it all : " Thou Mother of blessings. Thee we salute. Thee we salute. Thee we salute. Thee we salute. Thee we salute. Thou the Giver of desires. Thou the Doer of all good.

and the ? work " means the end. as if these were the end.XXI HIS METHOD OF TRAINING A WESTERN WORKER. This is a saying that one penetrates now and again for a moment at long intervals. while that the time being forgotten or then it may be only another way ignored. the secret of inspiring his disciples to 38* . in a wonderful degree. " Our Master possessed. make the end the means. Pavhari secret of Baba " THE Swami had once asked of "Ghazipur. l< To action man has a right he has no right itself is for : end to the fruits of action. What was the in success To and had been answered. But if it signifies that the whole energy of the worker should be concentrated on the means. of preaching the great lesson of the Gita.

Even Indian aspects of larger quesso trifling a matter as the use lentils. he regarded no detail as too trivial in this And confused to be important. demand.INDIAN FORMS attempt for this ideal. seemed crude must be appreciated and asIt was similated. He had his own reasons will which every Hindu that perhaps understand- work on European who was to feeling his behalf for India must do so in a the Indian way. tacitly understood that 383 . and sleep on the floor. to perform Hindu ceremonies. and bind oneself strictly by the feelings and observances of Hindu etiquette. foods. were all. while essentials and nonhe never essentials. means of arriving at that Indian consciousness which would afterwards enable one to orientate oneself truly to the tions. to his thinking. To eat only of approved to sit and to do this with the ringers. instead of appeared to him worthy of thought Even the caste-feelings that and effort. of lime-juice and powdered soap.

and veil the light . To this day. perhaps. one was led along the path knew already to be right. head. when one would be free of all these. even as he was free but the emancipation won by going through an experience is very different from . lies said the monk "Remember all particular garthat in that white veil !" the half of saintliness In this. in ideal power of imparting the with a at the custom.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING the time might someday come. however. If the that one 384 . the blindness that ignores or despises ! The Swami was his remarkable. quite prepared " ! to understand. one shudders impurity and roughness of blowing out a while to put on a sari. rather than that of self-confident aggression. in For how far this symbolism of externals is a fact of common Indian perception. is passive always to strive for the mood of sweetness and acceptance. "Never neglect to lower it Sadananda to me once. of this ment. we are not.

are all words only. even to unknown. the world. Every canon of edu'From cational science proclaims this fact. it was essential that there should first be experience of the humbler routine of . teaching and for this the to essential quaification was supreme and have looked at if only for a moment. Looking closer. known on the lips of those who can form no idea of the world as the pupil sees it.CANONS OF EDUCATION student was to solve any problem of Indian education.' term 'education' itself. through the eyes of the taught. To teach against the aspirations of the taught.' from simple to com'from concrete to abstract. What was pline was startling in the Swami's disci- his instinctive assumption that the built Indian consciousness was up on the thousand and one tiny details of Indian daily life.' and the very plex. or the aims to which he would fain be aided to climb. is assuredly to court ill results instead of good. one saw that this had been the method pursued by 385 Sri Rama- .

HIS METHOD OF TRAINING / desired to apprehend a. held it. Whenever he new idea. in himself or in others. language. and general habits of those who krishna. to with even to prevent mistakes. to point out the source of it was for him an error. liberty. "because I do not I myself. He approximate to had not merely attempted to them in the use of a few reli- ^ gious formulae. as he said once. The aim was revealed only little by little. even in such matters as these. only when had been committed. How do ? I know what But it may become. V 386 . it to-morrow interfere V It " was also true that was not in his nature. he had adopted the food." he said. clothes. and always on the basis of some attempt already made. "I trust trust no one. But Vivekananda was too great an educator to disregard the freedom of the disciple. It was true that he was perpetually testing purity of motive. always on his guard against the possible intrusion of self-interest.

Nor did he ever show his disapproval. though a word of authority would have been enough at any time to have ended it. probably. He took an interest. me in this matter. He feared a revulsion. I dined occasionally with people of various classes. in favour of the He had seen a associations of one's birth. about 'loaves and fishes. that there was a genuine need to 387 . perhaps.' But seeing. great religious movement shattered in the West. or utter a grave warning. on the contrary. the extreme simplicity of orthodox against Hindu life. in every experiterfered with single ence that one brought to his notice. He would in a general way express his fear. both Indian and European.THE FREEDOM GIVEN During the first six months of 1899. strong reaction possible. by the petty social ambition of a woman Yet he never inof over-much refinement. in CalThis fact always caused the Swami cutta. Undoubtedly also he thought a uneasiness. not at the time understood.

during the voyage England. your your conceptions. owu %ou have even its memory!" Never was monk more passionately moto lose nastic than Vivekananda. It was only on to the ship. life. Your come will internal and external. Hindu Brahmin The method it come to you. if only yon desire to suffi- ciently. has to be- all that an orthodox Brahmacharini's ought to be. But you have to forget your past. and cause it to be forgotten. 388 for all his apparent . and live in strict seclusion. and your habits.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING classes form a concept of the whole synthesis of and interests in Modern India. yourself to needs. as he discussed the future "You have to set of the women's work." he said one day. he to his disciple. gave way completely and its allowed the course of enquiry to pursue own path. that he fully expressed the ideal that was in him. Hinduise your thoughts. "You must give up all visiting.

" he said once. as details of Hindu etiquette. step. wearing the yellow garb. point Step by he gave. "in terms of their own orthodoxy!" and went on to picture a branch of the Indian Orders in the English Church. those instructions which it by point. This has sometimes appeared to me the greatest manifestation he gave. In the special case of the Indian consciousness. however.HINDU ETIQUETTE ease and fearlessness. is customary It in Europe in this to offer the religious novice. of a worker. he Yet here. and standing always for the supreme truth of the inter- relatedness of all religions. the Indian people and their life. practising the extreme of asceticism. "We shall speak to all men. going barefooted. which appears to the 389 . of his genius. to was way that he laboured overcome that restlessness and emphasis of Western manners. his ideal was by no means limited to a strenuous aspiration. in the case to substitute for knew how the walls of a convent.

whether of pain. disciple " European restraint. admiraIt tion.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING The constant ex- Eastern mind so crude. manner is not conceived of as merely idle. was to him shocking. for it was that ill-bred. you. long periods of severe " Stuggle to realise yourself. and keep his feeling to himself. or surprise. ) I" All this time was is O king For silence His name!" was This was a point on which the Swami He would impose on the exacting. pression of feeling. The oriental expects of a man he should feel. is seen in the case of that sage who was asked by a certain king to tell him about God. he 390 . was not necessary to stigmatise it as irreligious. on the privacy "What ing is He like ? What ! is He like I " ? And tell- the saint replied. Any constant pointing-out of the curious or the beautiful appears to him an unwarrantable intrusion and self-directedness of Yet that the desired repose of thought.

place. at some later time " ! This as is neither more nor Europe. but gather the sentiment of the sight from within. "Watch the fall of the leaves. of holding experience and emotion apart.BE TRUE JO THE PEOPLE on a certain occasion. he did not deny that there was poetry in the sight. yet thrones the high above the senses ? world as a intellect Carrying the question out of the sphere of mere good-breeding. in the stillness of an autumn evening. had to learn the great lesson. and mental discip- . he said. '"without a trace " of emotion said ! Watching the fall of dead leaves once. subtle recollectedness and Is it known in also a method of evoking creative faculty ? Does it point to a poetry which holds the vast symbol. but he declared that mental excitement. external sense-world. less than the conventual doctrine of peace. roused by what was merely an event of the was childish and out of All Western people.

It sentimentality. is Cut off. to and it. the abandonment of the People. the danger say. the Swami would speak with horror of that bondage itself in which shows physical the quest of subtle metaidealism. and the destruction of the work. our of the world All It this must be cut is must be rooted out. of idealising have reached. It the overflow of the senses.HIS line. Learn hate utter " poison Thus the common routine of the Hindu 392 . ' No loaves and fishes ! ! No glam short. as he talked of future ! methods. sound. in comes It to you colour. lies he merely what we ing of a corpse with flowers or later mean. would In all pleasures. Such "cover" would sooner when realised in practice. METHOD OF TRAINING and framing the same truth again in terms of the spiritual life alone. regai dless of self. followers of the pure idea. it ! sight. associations. " "Mind he said. Only they could be faithful who were beyond temptation.

had the dreams of his boyhood . 393 . Yet it was not the conventualism of authority. it filled supposed author. to his been the jewel of the imagination. but that of the following her rule freely. in monastic organisation. in the midst of the family. that he held up to a Hindu widow. in middle age. himself had been interested. He had once had a copy of the Imitation. the and this preface. of a world of deeper truths. characteristicalHe ly apprehended by the Hindu mind.MONASTIC ORDERS home became eloquent. or of the school. to find himself organising another monastic order. in which there was a preface describing the monastery and the rule followed by Jean de Gerson. till with a kind of surprise he awoke. book. from his babyhood. on the Swami's lips. Not contented with reading it over and over till he knew it off by heart. and realised that the fascination of his childhood had been a foreshadowing of the future. on the banks of the Ganges.

when people are ready do without them. universalism. For my own part. He I always have an horizon. the rules for your group. dealing his voice lingered "Lay down with this very point. and no words can convey the delight with which over the phrase. as well as for rising above You own to tools. if "and put is in a it. even in monasticism. manufacture your Frame laws. This perfect can be done. little there remember that not But more than half a dozen for room people in the whole world are ever at any one time ready for this There must be ! room sects.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING "An orthoEuropean disciple for a model. but frame them in will have to such a fashion that asunder. for sects. dox Hindu Brahmin Brahmacharini" was his ideal for the woman of character." broke off here to follow another line 394 . they can burst them Our originality lies in combining freedom with perfect authority. and formulate your ideas." he said once.

breadth. its the ship is. 395 . but the world will not be ready for that for millions of years !" want has "Remember !" he to know what a to said again. save one strong itself from admixture. "Two different races. the same reflecagain. and material. shape. and he said with *'A strong and physical very well basis to great distinct type always It is the all of talk the of horizon. is "if you be specified ship as it like. but once crossed. to understand a nation. and always appeared to him fruitful of applications. The best specimens have been produced by crossing." A tion came uppermost earnestness. And length. imiversalism. which always interested him.THE VALUE OF TYPES of thought. and here you see the beginning Look the apple. "mix and fuse. we must do the same. of caste. is few days afterwards. we try to preserve the variety intact." he said. and out of them This at tries to rises distinct type.

METHOD OF TRAINING You must left is idolatrous.HIS India she is. In gathering trained. With five hundred men. he would say. His own life poses. of had had two definite personal purwhich one had been the establishfor ment of a home the Order of Ramainitiation krishna. while the other was the of some endeavour towards the education of woman. were chosen should " be !" young and he would unformed. Those who have !" help her as her can do nothing for her The Swami felt that there was no task before India which could compare in importance with that of woman's education. Birth is nothing is "Environment everything!" But 396 . not more than years : a few weeks. widows and orphans to be he was of opinion that the limitations of birth must be steadfastly ignored. the conquest of India might take fifty with as many women. But it was essential to success that those who say.

building castles in the air of an ideal school. was since it showed the freedom he would have given. None dwelling lovingly on this point and of it would ever. he this felt inexcusable. would have appeared desirable. be all carried out literally. if only in view of It was natural my own pre-occupation at the time with the religious that all these plans ideas of Hinduism should wear a religious colour. They were The temper of the teaching was more the burden of his thought than the learning to be imparted. that. perhaps. more conventual than scholastic. of it. visible. yet precious. The task would constitute a was one that might of well take seventy years to accomplish. If in that impatience was twelve years any result fact great success. surely.CASTLES IN THE AIR above were all else. from his standpoint. must turn out the greatest intellects in 397 . For hours he would sit and talk details. "We Except for a sudden exclamation once. and the results that.

without regard to their effects on social continuity and cohesion. believer in that false idealism which leads to modification of knowledge of sex.HIS India !" I METHOD OF TRAINING scarcely remember that he ever said anything directly affecting the secular side of the woman's education scheme. at once thoroughly progressive and thoroughly Hindu. The moral and ethical failures which result from too easy an adoption of foreign ideas. moreover. were ever before his eyes. took for granted that anything deserving of such a name must needs be measured in He He was no terms of depth and severity. that they might continue to command the reverence of the modernised. was the problem There was the task of that engrossed him. in the name make How to home-background against which the work of education must be carried on. so translating the formulae of the old regime. the or dilution of truth. He knew 398 instinctively that .

must receive a new sanction and a deeper sanctification. and he exclaimed "How much you might do. and new an easy modern and so as to make the two old was a puzzle time and thought. with * : those five Yajnas !* These are (i) to the Rishis. But he never made the mistake of thinking this reconciliation of matter. by learning . The way tions of Hindu life which the existing obligamight be re-interpreted to include the whole of the modern conception of duty to country and history. suddenly struck him one day. and (5) to Mankind. in the light of modern learning. could to begin. (4) to the Animals. (2) to the Ancestors. by family honour (3) to the Gods.OLD AND NEW the bonds by which the old society had been knit together. How to nationalise the old. that occupied much of his He rightly saw that only when it had been in pieced national education be in a fair way together. These five sacr ifices are to be performed daily by every Hindu. or that learning would prove only preliminary to the ruin of India. 399 . modernise the one. by religion .

Encourage your girls to think of new ways of picturing Her. and the lights in great Tamil but- ter-lamps must be always burning. you must of course use images. But you can change these. "Out of that old ancestor-/^. Let them draw and model and paint their own ideas. Kali need not always be in one position. "In the chapel. must be always full of water. the pitcher on the lowest step of the altar. nothing could be more in accord with Hindu feeling. If. but the did not leave He took up thread of the idea. "In the worship of the gods. the maintenance of perpetual adoration could be organised.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING things What them!" great might in be a made flash. Have a hundred different conceptions of Saraswati. "But the ceremonies employed must 400 . and went into every detail. you might create Hero-worship. in addition. of The it light had broken him.

a fine beginning. Let them with the cutting of hardened learn painting. That is the most beautiful of all. There must be a Vedic altar. Do you know that every book is holy. girls them artistic Give cooking and sewing. in India ? Not the Vedas alone. The cow makes others. but the English and Moham- medan also ? All are sacred. arts. "Then there is the sacrifice of learning. photography. "Revive the old fruit-modelling Teach your milk.THE FIVE YAJNAS themselves be Vedic. designs in paper. See that everyone knows 401 . "Gather will also all sorts of animals about you. This is a rite which would claim the respect of the whole of India. the hour of worship the children to light the And must be present to share in the service of oblation. and gold and silver filigree and embroidery. But you have dogs and cats and birds and Let the children have a time for going to feed and look after these. on which Vedic at fire.

" But while he was thus prepared to worrc out the minutice of the task of connecting old 402 . On some days. but it has never been sufficiently specialised.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING living. the wor- ship might be of children. Let your women deveof it. What was it that Mataji said to me ? 'Swamiji I have no help. Make poetry. you see. with which to begin a school. make art. lop it. a wonderful thought. would be a wonderful practical training of heart and hand together. in something by which she can earn a case of need. that she ' ! and that is is serving Uma in the Kumari. again. of your own pupils. and they will take She feels. But these ! blessed ones I me to salvation worship. after a daily worship of the feet of beggars. Yes. "And never forget Humanity of a humanitarian man-worship nucleus in ! The idea in exists India. Or you might borrow babies. bathing and before the meal. and nurse and feed them.

it remained always true that the very presence of the Swami acted in itself as a key to the ideal. It was this that made evident gave their to the crudest eye the true significance of ancient rites. by which all else that was noble and heroic was made 403 . though he might be playing the part of citizen and house-holder. It was this that sudden vividness and value to the fresh applications made spontaneously by modernised Hindus. Serene indifference to fame and wealth proved only that a worker was spiritually the monk. Of this element in his own life. putting into direct relation with it every sincere effort that one encountered. pursuit of The knowledge its for its own sa ke with- concrete application. seemed but the modern form of the ancient salutation of the masters. Thus the reverence of a great Indian man of science for the heroes and martyrs of E uropean science.THE KEY TO IDEALS and new. seemed an inevitable greatness in the race that had out regard to dreamt of Jnanam.

beall coming he could that interested in the subject. With regard to the details of his educational suggestions. and so perfect an example of the development of faculty has he always before him. when he had undertranslate Herbert Spencer's 'Edu- cation' into Bengali. Nor is there any reason why the very centre 404 . as course unconscious. and had gone Pestalozzi also.' is In fact so deeply the Hindu versed psychological observation. a definite of of an ideal already revealed. that he enters the field of educational theory with immense advantages. on.HIS METHOD OF TRAINING illustration. even when he told me of a certain period of hardship taken to and struggle. the very quintessence of his interpretative power. Yet this one imagines. their pedagogic soundness had always been startling to me. in the religious practices of his people. Nor did I feel that this had been accounted for. into a recognition. the Swami was was. to read find about in 'though in was not the bond.

is the time will not be far distant that to see take her rightful place the womanhood of the world. and his nanda. when to his reverence and love for the past. amongst the Indian woman 405 . Indian educators have to extend and fulfil the vision of Viveka- When this is done. we can add his courage and hope for the future. allegiance to the sacredness of all knowledge. Meanwhile. the lirst step towards so desired a consummation will lie in apprehending the vast possibilities of existing formulae.HINDU POTENTIALITY of scientific thought on the subject should not someday be found with him.

of loss of integrity. his were incomparably precious. fact of un-married-ness a spiritual asset. would have been the first of crimes. remotest danger of it.XXII MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE. many come between of an ultimate him and the formulation 406 . or any step associated with it. To the conscience of the monastic vows Swami. fear. It counted with him follows from as that he was accompani- ed not only by the constant eagerness for monastic perfection. of the years. And did this however salutary or even necessary ta his own fulfilment for ideal. and to guard himself and his disciples against the his passion. To rise To him beyond the very memory of its impulse. personally as to any sincere monk marriage. but also by the equally haunting fear. un- doubtedly. was his ideal. The very all this.

HONOURABLE WOMEN philosophy. on this most important sub- As disciples. and playing distinction of fine games. men. as he had seen them in America. swimming. as co-workers. To see girls. he would sometimes boast. boating." de- 407 . however. In one place found a group of sisters. in women. and gave them some he of family relationship. instead of their opposites. ject. comrades and he and even as was much over. and so on. for he had in its highest degree that a daughter. "remembering that they were not boys. elsewhere a title mother. nobility of these. but of temptation. Of the and their freedom from false or trivial ideas. that his dread was not of woman. "without once." in his own phrase. playfellows. to seek for greatness and strength. It must be understood. the world happened almost always that he followed the custom of the Indian villages with these friends of his wanderings. It associated with women.

in his to be too exact. The opinion of some writers that woman's to knowledge ought not sounded. because one had risen above both. is known in India as brahmacharya. was horrible to The thing that the West calls 'chivalry' appeared him as an insult to woman. mingling of solitude. The its ideal of the life of the student. he laid constant lighted him. nor man's to be too sympathetic. with austerity. imposed on a defiant human spirit by our physical constitution. Anything. purity In the monastic training. meanness. and intense concentration of thought. emphasis on the necessity of being neither man nor woman. that emphasised the idea of sex.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE He worshipped that ideal of which they thus embodied for him. would have like a pitiful The effort of all alike must be the overcoming of such limitations. neighbourhood. "Brahmacharya should be like a burning fire within the 408 . even politeness. him.

by which he meant perfect emotional solitude and task self-restraint he believed with his whole heart to be an essential preparation for any demanding the highest powers. The worship of tempted to admire Saraswati. as part of the training of the athlete. Such worship had been recognised in India for ages. which to his ! thinking formed so inevitable a part of all great lives. or body. incidental to student-hood. Such illumination was as necessary to the highest work in art or 409 . in his fanaticism of the Terror. that for its sake he was even Robespierre.WORSHIP OF SARAS WAT! veins !" said the Swami. that height of superconscious insight. was to him only one form of that negation of personal in impersonal. mind. which appears to others as illumination. inspiration. whether of heart. and the significance of this fact was that a man must if dedicate all the force at his he were now and again to reach disposal. Concentration upon subjects of study. or transcendent skill.

meant always the superiority of the soul to the personal impulse monk was also great citizen. until the end 410 . No man who was spending himself in other ways selfish or ignoble. that the achievement of real greatness. as. except in flashes. The of civic ideal called as loudly for monastic devotion as the spiritual. hid from him this great truth. The of celibacy the private for the public good. where nunhood or monasticism mighi have been I cannot say. as in religion. Thus he saw that true manhood could not be. that this. and finally. of monk and guide of monastic aspirants. could ever have painted a great Madonna. by whatever path. without vows meant renunciation control of manhood . that great wifehood or great citizenship can only be.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE science. I think that perhaps his own life. the converse of the great the great worker or potentially That he was equally clear as to . for instance. or enunciated the Laws of Gravitatian.

the thing loved. love. who drag him down it to hell. he told some of us that he had now oneself realised that the power to attach was quite as important as that of detachment. on his return from a journey." he said once. whole-hearted. and his summary of conclusions was "It is true. to be love at tion. must be a welling benedic"without a reason. good. was impossible with respect of a love that sought to use. to appropriate. But there are equally others. "that complete. careless of return. all." and a free gift." he said in England. "Love only the complement is always a manifestation of bliss.NO PAIN IN LOVE came. "the least shadow of pain falling ." Once. And each was complete. there are women whose a man At feel very presence makes driven to God. talk by his constant of "loving without attachment. of the other. Each must be instantaneous. indeed. to bend to its own pleasure or Instead of this. This was what he meant." to think his side.

though not all. but not in Thibet had travelled in and in Malabar." Furthest of the from his admiration were puling literature and vitiated art that see human beings spirit.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE upon it." as "hiding a corpse beneath The ideal of wifehood he thought of. as an unwavering flame of devotion to one alone. of our Western idealism. pure amongst polyandrous peoples. ways spoke of flowers. Western customs he may have it difficult regarded as polyandrous. which he al- mind and inner freedom. for I find otherwise to account for his state- ment that he had seen women as great and birth. 412 . possessed. Malabar. and primarily as bodies to be only in the second place as eternal in self-mastery and Much. seemed to him to be deeply tainted with this^ spirit. the so-called one learns by enquiry. in Eastern fashion. as in the home as of his He . is always a sign of physicality and all selfishness.

EUROPEAN IDEALS polyandry marriage. necessarily for as in the rest of India but two are not received on an equal In any case. that thwart or limit human development. the social ideals of Europe. board the displaying during this voyage. on my return there in 1899. woman was not less in honour unmarried. that I must take back while in the West. her own is really only visits matriarchal The husband home. life. in Europe or America. he said. he at the same time. the married than the To him." that use and wont could never altogether learnt. He a day] or two before I landed in England. the wife in is and marriage not . never attacked a social ideal. as though I t had never dropped them. men had "custom was nothing. He told me. were wedding-bracelets bought silver . footing. He knew that in any country and any race the ideal might shine forth through individuals in all its fulness. Some missionaries on ship.

to the removal of the wedding-ring from finger or wrist. as Hindus think of it. in ideal of spiritual freedom. "Against marriage. to his The chastity of the wife. 414 . is a word that connotes not only faithfulness to one alone. but the right to refrain from doing that highest inaction which transcends all action. not as the right to do." * in beyond marriage. in order to rise one day. East and West. must be understood. "You call it a superstition ?" exclaimed the Swami. "You cannot behind ?"* institution of marriage. was seen by him in its relation to the always And freedom. see the great ideal of chastity. tion of distaste. but also unwearying In this ideal." he admitted argument. there is no room for the slightest fluctuafaithfulness. say. The the Eastern sense. in low pained tones of astonishment. "I have nothing to perfect The marriage was. and the talk ran on the superstitious dislike of wives. however.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE from Tamil women in the stress of famine .

whether they will or not. she catches up again !" Sri for the till he or Ramakrishna. one supposes. life. and in And these were his disciple Swarupananda. 415 . Those two must wed each half of other. in his brother Yogananda. while in India said once. In he was. what would in other countries have been regarded as merely nominal. in life after all Each acquires the merit of the other. all them together for eternity. referred to it was as said. as consisting in all regards marriage that lies beyond the legal tie. to And if one seems in this life is have fallen hopelessly behind. it other only to wait and beat time. discussing West it is thought of as a bond thrown by society to unite round two people. had always and to the marriage monastic life as a this' a special. of the type that he had seen in his Master. "You see there is a difference of outlook on] this point !" he "The the question.IDEALS OF MARRIAGE thinking. service. universal.

in the Swami's own mind. and one that had not. "What !" ship. vow as if he were called souls to take this calling them to the most honourable of regarded a monastic order as "an army" behind a leader. after fifty years of companiondoors of the workhouse. "Can't I see Mary and kiss her before she goes to sleep? Why. I can never forget his story of an old couple who were separated. at the close of the first day. And was determining concept of celibacy or brahmaHe ckarya. and the teacher whose followers were all citizens and housewarfare. he was not wholly unable to see a career for the soul. this support. between the strength of a cause that had. I haven't missed doing that at night. in his mind. as without an army. holders. at the exclaimed the old man. for fifty years !" 416 . He There could be no comparison. Yet in marriage itself.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE alluding only to marriages this of the clearly very the highest type.

A child. To in marriage would force such a spirit into his eyes have been a 417 . and suggesting increased dowers for the successful in aiding her. had been Years had gone by. self-control \ "Think of Such and steadi- ness as that. with its long hours of silence and retirement and all her younger sisters were . ought to be considered as a natural right of woman. faithful to the life but she was still she had adopted.A PATH TO MUKTI "Think of the it !" said the thought it of Swami. by using his influence with her father. And he. glowing with an achievement so high. if she wished. ARE mukti been the path for those Marriage two souls ! itself had He held with unfaltering strength. younger daughters. whose exclusive leaning to the devotional life was already strongly marked before she was twelve. had once appealed to him for protection against proposals of alliance that were being made by her family. now wedded. that the freedom to refrain from marriage.

in the epic of Valmiki. He held that the faithfulness of widows pillar was the very tions rested. as Sita to him. to count up the various classes. in connection with "These marriage. Rama. had been as true to Sita.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE desecration. The Swami was not unaware of the existence of social problems. wives of kulin Brahmins. in the course of a lecture in the West. rare cases of the undower- ed and so on who represent the unmarried woman in Hindu society. in all parts of the world. The old Aryan in conception of marriage. morning wife and evening and worshipped by husband and together. He was proud. of child-widows. pointed to no inequality of standards or responsibilities as between the two. symbolised lighted at the marriage. on which social institu- Only he would have liked to declare as high an ideal for men as for women fire in this respect. "from whose minds 418 . unruly women." he exclaims. too.

speaking of marriage by arrangement instead of by choice. holding always that they had grown up out of a desire to avoid some evil which their critic was possibly too headstrong to preceive. in one direction or the other. He never attacked social institutions as such. But he was not blind to the overswing of the pendulum. In India he would constantly point out that Oriental and Occidental ideals needed to be refreshed by one another. was the highest and bravest course for husband or wife to take. ! with their different customs. "Such pain Some.PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE the words 'bear and forbear' are gone for ever l" He could admit. of course there must always have been. But now the sight of Europeans. increased Society knows that there is another way !" 419 . "There is such pain in this country !" he said one day in India. when continuance in a marriage would involve treachery that separation to the future of humanity. also. has it.

" he said again. She must be Sati. to a European. the world could It was this conviction that led him to to differences spend so much time examining inof social ideals. " in which I heard two voices discussing the marriage-ideals of the East and the West. that there was something in each. there was the dream that he recounted on board ship. But the husband ought not to love his wife as he does his mother." Again. as between East and West. "and I think both might gain by some inter- change. "the wife must not dream of loving even a son as she loves her husband.' husband and wife is not admitted in India. and youwifehood. and the conclusion of the whole was.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE "We have exalted motherhood. ill afford to part." he said. It is The joy of the contact of 'shopkeeping. 420 ." with which as yet. "In India. Hence a reciprocated affection is not thought so high as one unreturned.

to But the overwhelming thought that his very presence carried home to the mind was of the infinite superiority of that life which seeks only the freedom of the soul and the all. hearing of an expression of intense loneliness on the part of a friend. "Every worker feels like that at times !" But infinite danger lay. they with great tenderness "You need not mind.THE MONK ALONE FREE This we have to borrow from the West." . if come now and again !" And again. turning to a disciple and compassion." he said "You need once. to that which looks for comfort and the sweetness of home. He knew well enough the need that great workers may feel service of of being lives. these shadows of home and marriage cross your mind sometimes. he exclaimed. encircled by subordinated human not mind. need something of our devotion motherhood. in 421 . Even to me. Our ideal needs to And be refreshed by yours. you. to his thinking. in turn.

lay here. was the preaching that the of monastic ideals even in marriage. he felt that one of the most impor- tant responsibilities lying. and this he could not do. of and his own means of over- coming this lay in bowing himself down to any one. Instead. upon the religious orders. whether monk or householder. "Never forget to say to whom you teach. like a grain of sand beside the vastness of Mount Meru. Sri Ramakrishna. "that like a little fire-fly be- side the brightness of the sun. to have minimised the ideal. in the present age. who was disciple and devotee of his own Master. SO is the life of the citizen compared that with that of the Sannyasin !" He knew the danger spiritual pride. would have been." he charged one of his dis- ciples solemnly. But to abate the dictum itself.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE a false exaltation of any social ideal at the risk of jeopardising the eternal supremacy of all the super-social. in his eyes. in order more difficult might always exercise 422 .

up to this critical point. obscuring the solitary grandeur and freedom of the soul. this acceptance of his wife as the mother and means. as the ultimate aim. in the name of an interesting and absorbing might be utterly destroyed. abandonment of the external. by their mutual adoption of the . impulse fluctuation. ^ 423 . the waxing followed by the waning. psychological justification of this ideal is said to be the fact that. monastic life It is a moment of the mer- gence of the human in the divine.IDEAL MARRIAGE compelling and restraining force upon the easier. the relation of marriage consists in a constant succession of a two-fold impulse. howis transcended. of affection. path. and there is noHenceforth the beloved is wor- shipped in perfect steadfastness of mind. by which all life stands thenceforward The changed. and that the false glamour of its romance. All the disciples of Ramakrishna believe that marriage is finally perfected by the man's companionship. With the ever.

all which exalts monasticism above others.' then. as the path that must be taken by all souls to reach perfection. when we walked under the avenue of poplars. In this it differs from Buddhism. "The glory of Hinduism. The story given in the Mahabharata of the young saint who was made enlightenment. and then from a butcher. is have There no career "which might not be the 424 . is to seek sufficient to show this. when my own doI station." he ended. "lies in the fact that while it has defined has never dared to say that any one of these alone was the one true ideals. that Sunday morning in Kashmir.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE Yet in dealing with his views on this question. one cannot but remember his utterance on the contrast between Hinduism and Buddhism. first from a married woman. 'By doing asked. and listened to him as he talked of Woman and of Caste." he said that day. my 'by duty' said each one of these ing my duty in attained this knowledge. it way.

That self-love constantly leads us to such subtle exaltation of our own acts and motives. he told us. he was well aware. . only in proportion to in expression of ideal purity. as a monk. in Western countries. On all such illusions. The question of attainment depends only. "that such great men are not was. he to the false claim that marriage shrank from interpretations which might lead was chosen as a means to spirituality. who urged that their own lives. though indolently passed in the midst of luxury. in the last resort. on the thirst of the soul. they were able to realise renunciation without a struggle. he poured out his scorn. the Swami's acceptance. them in the that only the claims of duty kept world that in their affections. outside theory." Thus was not. * He had constantly. however much." 425 . were without selfishness . the fact that its all life is great. "My only answer he said.IDEALISING SELF path to God. met with persons.

Master's Those who have read our work on Devotion. there was no cynicism.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE born in India ! The model in this kind was the great king Janaka. however. In this severity. and in the whole of In connection history he occurs but once !" with this particular form of error. he would point out that there are two forms of idealism one is the worship and exaltation of the ideal itself." A mongst the friends of our Master there 426 . or Bhakti Yoga. "Cling of his to this vision to !"" have heard saying a girl whose love for another stood newly-con"As long as you can both see the fessed ideal in one another. . will remember there the express statement that the lover always sees the ideal the in I beloved.. your worship and happiness will grow more instead of less. the other is the glorification of that In this which we have already attained. second case. the ideal is really subordinated to self.

before can attain to the ideal of perfect chastity.HIS FINAL UTTERANCE was. one middle-aged woman who of of full was never to satisfied that. in his intensity monasticism. so : fication it respect for motherhood. when. Very naturally. to this friend that he turned. In this letter. it marriage. he arrived at what he knew to be his crowning conviction on She had herself been was whole subject and his letter was brought to her in her distant home by the same this . violate. marriage and the sacred and inchaste have produced great men 427 . therefore. hand that was carrying also the telegraphic announcement of his death. "In my solemnly destined. however. a few weeks before the end. through the sanctiand inviolability of marriage. The Roman holding Catholics Hindus. he was able to do the justice sacredness and helpfulness long a widow. he says a race must first cultivate a great opinion. after an unusually blessed experience of married life.

to be dissolved at will. To the Arab. until there is developed in Japan So. and we do not find there the development of the ideal of the virgin. great in order that a few life-long chaste powers to the for have been opened sanctification may be produced. or a forceful possession. marriage is a contract. or the brahmacharin." There are some of us who feel that this letter has an even wider-reaching significance than he himself would have thought of It was the last sentence in .MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE -and women of immense power. Buddhism. I and nuns. do not see how there can be great monks As you have come to see that life is the glory of chastity. so my eyes also necessity of this the vast majority. having fallen have not even yet come up has Modern races who among to the evolution of a travesty of monastimarriage cism. made a great and sacred ideal about marriage ( apart from mutual attraction and love ). 428 .ascribing to it.

then the honourable fulfil- ment of the world's work to is as sacred a supreme self-realisation. We have here." If the inviolability of marriage be indeed the school in which a society is made ready for the highest possibilities of the life of solititude and self-control. and walk 429 truly amongst them . "to take the common things of life. as a deep thinker has affirmed." then. the inner meaning Vivekananda's constant preaching of strength. by the same in at different and different is attitudes. The If "the Many and the reason is very simple. seen times. in three words. Spirituality. as worship means and prayer. We of understand. then. own One be mind the same Reality. by Paramahamsa.FIDELITY ESSENTIAL the great philosophy which saw "in the Many and the One the same Reality. Character "Greatness" really is. his great preference for character. a law which enables us to understand the discouragement Ramakrishna of religious ecstasy. in his disciples. . and too.

" 430 . And in endorsement of this possibility. we have the Master's is own words" The highest truth always the simplest. to be the very core of the new gospel." These simple truths may prove after all.MONASTICISM AND MARRIAGE and holiness a great love and much serving.

of the fact that the study of psychology has been organised in India as a science. Such and genius. was even suspected. INDIA is undoubtedly the land of the un- derstanding of psychology.XXIII. . more than to any other race. Long before the value of writing. men appear is as minds. are by them understood as simple differences in degree of concentration. for the notation of knowledge. may be said life. between moral weakness and power. and partly effect. This pre-occupation of the race is partly cause. OUR MASTER'S RELATION TO PSYCHIC PHENOMENA SO-CALLED. that To it Hindus. doubtless. Concentration of mind differences them the as between to ideal of talent between ordinary goodness and the highest sainthood. from the earliest times.

or Raja called. Yoga. as having any bearing on scientific enquiry in general. and clairaudience difficulty no overwhelming of the ancient it to the student Indian psychology. as is 432 . and obscure forms of hyperastkesis and hyperkinesis. the age of experiment was fully developed amongst the Indian people. the most offer familiar of these being healing. Mil- before instruments and labora- tories could be thought of. clairvoyance. should be duly noted and many classified. thought-reading. by the interchange of ideas and observations. many phenomena of the mind. Thus hypnotism. had begun. which appear to the less informed West as abnormal or miraculous. It is not surprising that in the singularly wide range of knowledge thus accumulated in India.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA the quiet registration of phenomena in the communal lenniums consciousness. with regard to this most characteristic of their sciences.

or later. tural falling under this head. and very to call fact. only because. it supernatural becomes by that absurd. no miracle.NO SUPERNATURAL We scientific all know that the lies great value of thought in cognise and record phenomena." Occurrences authentic. sooner classified. in the human field It is it mind. if be once noted as within the of medical practice. it is clearly within nature. In India the phenomena 433 . The conjunction of diagnosis and treatment is now a question of time only. It has a place thenceforth. when are obviously no more supernathan the liquefaction of air. Indeed the propriety ' of the word ' supernatural is always open toinasmuch as if once a thing can be dispute. little enabling us to reIt matters only it that a disease is rare. It will be has a name. or the extraction of radium. proved to occur. Something of the same sort applies tothe trustworthy fraction o what are com" monly referred to as psychic phenomena.

He was them at so respon- at the door on and begin once to answer. and their explanation is sought. but in the state of the mind it is to be supposed that under given conditions. for years. the questions that the boys carried written in their pockets. His perceptions were so fine that he could by touch the character of anyone who might already have come in contact with his tell food. of 434 . living in the garden of Dakshineshwar. his disciples had been familiar. or his mat. not in the event. with many of those mental characteristics which are noted in the books as distinctive of the highest In degree of concentration. his clothes. witnessing this will it. since Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. always. It "burnt" him. he said. register a perception different from the accustomed. without being told of them. sive that he would meet their arrival.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA in question are regarded as cases of extension of faculty. an impress from which he shrank .

so charged with certain ideas that even in sleep he shrank from the touch of metal. again. No Indian psychologist would say of one of the world-seers that he had talked with angels. " Look I can eat The sender must have been some good soul !" His nervous system. Stories are still current amongst them. which might seem to carried on for hours at a time . plentiful examples. book or a fruit. apparently of its own accord. on another occasion. resting quietly. regarding the strangeness of the sensations with which they would listen to one side of a dialogue. the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna saw tion. while their Master. or one part in a be conversation. whose return to its owner the conscious mind had failed to his restore a prompt. evidently believed 435 . and hand would.STRANGE FACTS or. but only that he had known how to reach a mood in which he believed Of this condihimself to talk with angels. had been ! this.

to draw the soul away from conditions of service. when their Master seemed to be like a child coaxing his Mother to let him run away from Her to play.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA himself to be holding invisible to communion with beings them. on for such an occasion. if only he might aid a single soul. even as a dog. binding them into one great life. Vivekananda spoke of him in after years as 'writhing on the ground' during the hours of darkness. 'Just little more' one more' act of service. or 'one enjoyment would be urged. as a motive returning 436 . was always the determination to serve mankind. all Behind these manifold experiences of Ramakrishna. at the end of a deep entrancement. in the agony of his prayer that he might return to earth again. And his disciples connected with this such odd utterances as they would sometimes hear. he would speak of the temptation of the higher realisations. In moments less intimate and hidden than these.

casting light on the He would throw the 437 . There were in Sri still other remarkable traits Ramakrishna. and the unconsciousness of catalepsy. be operated on. we may in take it that the assurance which breathes every syllable. how- ever.and allow local it to during his last illness. His faculties of obser- vation.SAMADHI NOT CATALEPSY to common consciousness.personality within. arose from his having constantly witnessed the transition. defines this as the differentia between the unconsciousness of Samadki. were quite unique. for instance. again. as if under a anaesthetic. He had his own ner- vous force so entirely under control that he could remove all consciousness from his throat. as . . in his Master. on the occasion of his Harvard Address. When the Swami Vivekananda. always brought with the infinite love and insight of one who had been lost in God. The smallest detail of the physical constitution had a meaning for him. That it return.

he said. and placed his hand on the heads of a row of 438 . and compelling power over whole is In the matter of especially at in Samadhi this well-known. concerning the far past. and showing the directhe of its flow. insignificant to others. him like a straw. Above flashes of he could by his touch give supreme insight. a formative lives. in a few minutes. But beyond this. There were times. and learn from his subconsci- that was lodged little there. borne on the great current of character. Each and word. when he came out into the garden at Cossipore. which exercised all. of a certain day during the last few weeks of Sri Ramakrishna's life. a story was told me by a simple soul.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA disciple who had just come to him all into an* hypnotic sleep. look them through and through. reference ta women-visitors Dakshineshwar. ous mind. when act was to men and women seemed and he could to him like glass.

In one thereawoke an infinite sorrow. and suggested ideas.THE MASTER'S TOUCH persons. every thing about him became symbolic. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa 439 . or a wayside shrine. With a third. without seeming to see there. or by such communication of experience as one and another could bear at the time. And this. ^Chaitanya "Be awakened a different and so on. case. but which never there- accompanied him always everywhere. one after another. seated in the midst of this effulgence. the benediction was realised as over-welling bliss. By such stimulating of each man to his own highest and best. saying let in in one an!" "AjtliakT "To-day honk after !" be !" other. And one saw a great after left him. smiling or sorrowful as he at the moment might deserve knew and talked of as "the in the " a Form that he Spirit that dwells images. gift came to each one thus blessed. light. To janother. so that never could he pass a temple.

" soul." " we have been I enquired from another of the disciples what particular form this he answered.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA built up the rigorous integrity and strong discrimination that one sees in all who were made by his hand." "We says one believe nothing without testing Ramakrishnatrained to nanda by name this. it. on his arrival in the psychical enquiry. "or by the mercy 0f some great perfected highest. from which each gained a knowledge that could never be deceived. after deep tiaining took. we reach the Now the life of the guru . to classify all Western sphere of knowledge 440 . thought. in one of his earlier lectures. that it lay in some experience given of the Reality. of the extensions possible to human faculty. is the disciple's was undoubtedly by an instantaneous analysis of all that he had seen and shared." says Vivekananda. " And when By our own effort. that the Swami was treasure in hand and it able.

third. the sub-conscious and the supercon" I could not scious. Consciousness. it is NOTHING. he himself added to the psychological vocabulary. Paramahamsa gather from a man's sub-conscious " mind. by a masterly stroke of insight. when I heard Western people talking so much of consciousness / Consciousness ? What does consciousness matter Why. for had I not in seen Ramakrishna ten minutes. and super-conscious. authenticated by his own personal know" ledge. the whole of his past. and the heights of the super-conscious In ! ! this I could never be misled. The two first terms were in common The enough use. and determine from that his future and his powers ? The certainty of the dictum laid down in 441 ." "is a he said on one occasion. as compared with the unfathomable depths of the sub-.LIMITS OF CONSCIOUSNESS as sub-conscious. conscious. mere film between two oceans." Again he exclaimed believe my own ears. in Europe and America.

PSYCHIC PHENOMENA Raja Yoga that intuition. These things. when genuine. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa attempted no- of testing him. mode Nothing was to be accepted. had a horror of those dreams. previsions. can never contradict reason. but simply clairvoyant set shrewd observers to watch and bring him word as to what and where he was in the habit of eating. as was were offered 442 . to be seeking for uncommon ways of arriving at facts that were accessible When a enough by ordinary methods. professing to be able to live without food. and prophecies by which ordinary folk are so apt to try to dominate inevitable. strange religious came to visit the garden.. but he was no victim of the vanity born thereof. is also indisputably due to the same comprehensive range of experience. The ascetic of Dakshin- eshwar might be capable of unusual modes of insight. dying day. one another. to his and the Swami Vivekananda. unproven.

" said the Swami. Even a little glimpse gives faith that there is beyond gross matter. if they were true. prognostications and in the opinion of his disciples. that he once obeyed allowed to go it. to know was imthe one if thing of which he was sure was. he said. it : possible for him. such prognostications are always indicative of " All mis-using of energy. these are side-issues. he would never again be it free. in spite of him. Whether a given foretelling would to eventually be verified or not. "they are not true Yoga. invari- ably happened that visions and far intuitions . in establishing indirectly the truth of our statements. Yet those something who- 443 . In the case of Sri Ramakrishna.VALUE OF THE PSYCHIC him in abundance. leaving them to work themselves out.. but he invariably met them with defiance. were directed like to things of the spirit gipsy. They may have a were from him a greater or less certain usefulness.

means. 'I shall it.' accept to it when I have be the reply to statements of the extraordinary. his was We however. were not to run away with the first explanation of a phenomenon that might occur to us. the attempt at discrimination was to be main- In lained." "These are frontier questions ! he exclaimed impatiently. questions Did ' I not say they were ' frontier- ? The boundary-line is always " shifting ! all that might come before us. of the occasional return of persons from the dead. course of years.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA spend time on such things run into grave " dangers. sion." he said once. on another occa"there can never be any certainty or reached by their stability of knowledge. with great deliberateness. in the reluctance to accept easy the Swami became convinced. "I have several times in my life seen ghosts. In spite of conclusions. But our own experienced experience was to be sifted thoroughly. .

this did not imply the smallest respect on "and once. Another large he thought. "I did not like this explanation.* than as after all these deducIf. In America he had been present at a number of seances as a witness. in the I his part..FRAUDULENT METHODS week after the death of Srf saw a luminous ghost." he said. " and set myself to find another. that Thus a well-known thought-reader in Southern India claimed an invisible female figure stood beside him. for the bulk of the experiments known convert as spiritualistic seances. * 445 . was sad to find a man of his extraordinary intelligence in matters of the world." said the Swami. fraction of the total. summing up his observations." He came to the conclusion that the source of information was subjective. "Always the greatest fraud by the simplest means. leaving all intelligence behind him at the doors of a so-called medium. were better explained by subjective methods. and he regarded the great majority of the phenomena displayed as grossly fraudulent. and told him what to say. objectively true. Of a famous whom it he said that he met on one such occasion." But Ramakrishna.

good of life was to be given up. any residuum remained. on any true concept of immorOnly by renunciation could this be reached. and If the ordinary to the fall into untruth. if it had had no miracles. for the sake of the soul. inevitably. knowledge of the phenomenal could never be the goal of effort.PSYCHIC PHENOMENA tions had been made. "If there 446 . The return of wandering wills from one plane of physical tension to another could throw but little But even light tality. professed. and that only for the first steps. value could only be to give a little confidence. if so. to increase of egotism. it was possible that this might be genuinely what it. how much more assuredly so. ! these vanities of supernatural power Even Christianity would have seemed to him a higher creed. Buddha's abhorrence of wonders was the At best their eternal glory of Buddhism. to in- crease of desire. Any in dwelling upon the occult led the Swami's opinion.

they alone remaineth.THE GOAL OF ALL be powers. "To him who is able to reject all Patanjali." shall vanish away . the powers. charity Only to the soul that is strong enough to avoid these temptations In the words of does the door stand open." alone attains the very highest. He . 447 . comes the cloud of virtue.

were. was in this way that the renunciation was lighted. one. in the hearts of those about for 448 . dis- mere fact of and knowledge had grown. attitude fire. whole to things it was reversed one took .XXIV. THE SWAMI'S TEACHING ABOUT DEATH. by the nearness to him. ONE of the most impressive forms of in the disciple teaching practised certain silent change by our Master was a wrought unawares. with a given idea or one found that a whole habit of thought suddenly as had in left its and a new opinion grown up without the interchange of a place. It single word on the seemed as if a thing had passed beyond the realm of cussion. One's . subject. It was in this and value became It way that questions of taste indifferent. by his presence. like a longing devouring flame.

In his own life-time.TEA CHING B Y SILENCE him. than to the idea of death that one seemed to imbibe from him. and he dreaded adding to the ignorance of desire. " I " suppose answer. as for himself. those 449 . God was the only means. In death. ' and Nirvana was the goal. one who was striving to piece out puzzle. of life outs' de the body. to would be his do not know. I law. The highest Samadhi was all that counted all the rest was wild oats. the eternal He probably felt that one of the subtlest forms of in delightful self-interest lay dreams of a future happiness. he became more and more averse to down of the so. any definite layingon this subject. makes the more letters. And to nothing could this statement be more applicable. by any emphasis laid on the conditions in life.' Yet this very fact sheds all : the brighter light on the way in which one's thought of death changed under him and . in two or three which personal experience and precious.

either impossible or unthinkable. had hold felt driven. Ethical conduct. Hence. it was mind.ABOUT DEATH sympathy For strike from him a definite expres- sion of opinion. not matter and The two mind were and the idea of the persistence of personality was a mere shadow. equally true that we knew nothing whatever of mind without body. suppose it. born of animal instinct. whatever might we had no actual reason imagine any survival of personality. rising even to supreme at self-sacrifice. that. when I first met the years wishes to Swami. was determined bottom. to be only the opposite pole of a single substance. if mind were experience of no personal not actually the result of body " struck upon the harp-strings " a note we must body one. beyond Such a thing was the death of the body. and mind. 450 . my own I part. past. If we had body without the experiencing medium. for many our to be. at best.

The modern reasons from seen to unseen from detail to general . or the rower seated in a boat ? Recent talk of the disintegration of matter. the only known. and has a soul : may be taken as the characteristic Something thought of Europe about death. to imply that ethical conduct ultimately rests. 451 . Here the Oriental contrast out. the Hindu reasons from universal to particular. which is after all. in fact. is stands in to sharp the and instinctive him. for self-immolation. from the mind and matter into which both may be resumed. on a belief in the immortality of the soul to contrast the agnostic view of a spiritual life built up from below. there remains west is concerned. As Swami pointed declare that man * like "Western languages a body. in but only any creed. but . as far as the individual mind and body to this sum of transition. thirst. during the second half of the " Is the " a note nineteenth century." But even so. here. even for scientific workers. has now made it easy.EUROPEAN THOUGHT by our personal preference for gratifications that were socially beneficent. What the modern really believes is that man is a body.* These positions were undermined. by the weight and emphasis which the Indian thinker habitually threw on MIND. "to conceive of a cycle call it mind in which matter practically is not. and maintains that in this specific case that is the true method of reasoning. as the pivot of life. and the Hindu idea of a physical consciousness. the life of the soul being. It is not intended. in my own case. merely an expression and mask of the spiritual life. " struck upon the harpstrings. soul. not for self-preservation." said one thinker. the jet to be worked out. with its insatiable this .

I months fallen suddenly found that habit I had of thinking of mind as dominant. evoked. began to- seem absurd. I to speak to people." As a began to result of the new hypothesis. till twelve later. and has a body. while the occurrence of any great and sudden change at in our thought-world. led The immense increase of response that this me from step to step. Every new practice deepened this and I became gradually possessed of a conception of the world about us as mind-born.ABOUT DEATH Eastern languages declare that he is a soul. His effort was the perpetual to avoid slipping: 45 2 . that I was addressing the mind within.. went. a definite physical moment. and could no longer imagine into the ts being extinguished by the death of the ! body conviction. however. first postulating myself experimentally. not the ear without. The Swami's thought on the question much deeper than this.

preferring. limited as this is by the opposites. Victory or defeat. efficiency or ineffectiveness. For would do but the attainment nothing of deatklessness. being each only a partial apprehension. make up absolute existence. 44 He would never even use the word any sense that might be so construed. to ''all give a slight gesture. as he expressed it. could never. could never. rather quaintly to an English 1 ear. it be of any realise security. must be possible to such deathlessness during this present 453 . our hunger for immortality. love or hate.MAN NOT BODY into " any in identification of himself with the body. Hundreds of lives like the present. with the words ot this. of the alternating was ' ' life at all." But he also fought shy life the danger of admitting that the senses. each bound in its own time to have an end. satisfy that. interpreted as in or exaltation of and this could never be any sense the multiplication To life within the senses. amongst them.

watching the entrance and exit of a higher entity. taking brief refuge there. and the soul a sparrow. not body. as in impelled opposite.ABOUT DEATH life. were its to the full as many assumptions. To one who was irresistibly upon the hypothesis that we are not an aggregate of physical units at all. thus betraying their own tendency identify themselves with the body. but a hyper-physical unity. from the wintry Yet in this concept. there storms without. The speech of the Kentish Druid who welcomed Augustine was typical of all who held this world to be the warm and lighted hall. holding these in suspension. those with whom the man as Swami 454 . for how else could the transcendence of bodily experience be assured ? Western people were in the habit of saying that 'the soul comes and to goes'. to such a one it was equally clear that we really know only that "the body comes and goes" By this constant insistence on mind.

What ! broken somnambulistic dream. prowithout teaching . and conditioned by human language ? Were even as it was. . but only a link from the midst of a chain. hard and narrow issues of conduct ? Well common-place might the the Swami a exclaim. Must knowledge remain for ever for ever based on the dim for and of the perceptions ever finding expression. life Instead of the us the prison of hypnotic trance. soul. this shifted. infinite almost with a groan. the dreams !" 455 dreamer. as he did in course of New York lecture. in the senses. . of sometranscended this. in the Our whole became a for centre of vision experience of the was thus lighted hall.THE PRISONING BODY was associated were brought to see death as no terminal fatality. thing that something that that illuminated compelled without words communion direct. found ? relative. dreaming finite "Man. was utterance to be for ever limited there not flashes.

We were saturated life with the thought that the accessories of so it were but many externals of a passing dream. much as we were doing before it.the body could seriously interrupt this. that. and the idea that the mere fall of. seemed obvious too. an eternal heaven or hell.ABOUT DEATH By his scorn of such. by his own passionate longing to wander off. and seemed obvious that we should go onwards. built up in those about him some sort of. silent and nude. by his relationships of life personal as so attitude to the many fetters and soul. with only such added intensity and speed as might be due to the subtler in which we should find ourselves. as he declared. along the banks of the Ganges. after death. became im- impedimenta Vivekanands to the freedom of the possible. by his constant turning to the super-conscious as the only content of consciousness to be desired. based on the deeds medium It 456 .measure of Real Existence.

by any means. and he was exceedingly vision. to his thinking. He appeared to share the common assump- 457 . as far as they could go. for others He carried those about him at accept. time. however. basing it on the data own experience. Nothing that he should say must ever interfere with the free growth of personal conviction. "I do not know" became more and more in death. fast to Yet the Swami laid down no hard and conclusions on these subjects. as years went fate of the soul work out of his his Each one. was an absurdity. have an infinite effect. must own belief. his on to questions about the answer. the force of his own averse to making promises about the future. were noticeable. since finite cause could not. But he would have nothing to do with dogma.NO DOGMA a of this present life. As already said. Some things. any given by by the energy of his effort to express in words the thing he himself saw.

correspondent to disembodiment. ! " " He appeared to take life. with those who have "When I stand before the old preceded us. believed." he would say with a smile of whimout'. of the terror of the supernatural. he had met and held converse with To some one whothe spirits of the dead. as one of the facts of A man Nirvikalpa who has once reached the Samadhi must have passed through many psychological conditions on. On that day ghost. to experiences from which we are ordinarily Now and again. He must be accessible. he spoke said "This is always a sign of imagination. you will know no fear !'' 458 . it simply. man. I must not have to tell him so and so Nor did I ever see in him any struggle against this assumption. the way. as the Swami debarred. when you really meet what we call a There is a.ABOUT DEATH tion that after death we meet again and 'talk things so to speak. sical tenderness. during such phases.

and taking up great handfuls of sand. and knew not what to do. that place. urging and disturbing him greatly by the statement that his mother was dead. to perform But when he came to a Shraddh for them.A REQUIEM story told. he stood there on the shore casting the sea. amongst his brethren. these souls for their untruthfulness. and with his whole mind it into falsehood sending benediction to the dead. he remonstrated with him to join them. and he begged went out to the seashore at night. And 459 . Then he remembered an old book that said. he had nothing to offer. but was answered that they were now in such unrest and distress that the telling of truth or was indifferent to them. of certainsuicides who came to him at Madras. sand might be used. Having ascertained by enquiry that his mother was well. in the absence of all other means of sacrifice. They him to set them at peace. where offerings should be made. in the service.

only some Suddenly.ABOUT DEATH those souls had rest. They troubled him could no more. dated August . of of which their hearts at the loss so full. a few minutes had been one of those is rare cases in which an apparition seen by two persons at once. experience that he of was in It his glimpse Sri Ramakrishna.. moment were left Their few Master had days before.. Experiences like these could not fail to create a body of belief in the mind that went through them. them. the Swami saw a shining form and draw near to enter the garden. talking. and in a letter written from Thousand Island Park. Another never forget. was He. his the week night.. outside. "What was later. them. in a hoarse whisper. It that ? What was that ?" said his friend. no doubt. succeeding death. and the one other were sitting house at that Cossipore.

is the greatest of all only so-called higher beings are the departed. or (in the or dtnuntion. But man alone becomes GOD. its They will feel. And this earth. everything are men. space. case) plane 4 6l . So they So are the devas.*' all this will have own value. says : the deeper that man see into the idea of the Hindus beings. tne Swami conviction. us. This is finer. with hands and feet and so on. even where he expresses what' * is only an present infer- May be translated sky. in order to become God." To those who believe in our Master as " a competent witness. and these are nothing but men who have taken another body.MAN THE HIGHEST BEING 1895. in another akasha* they live on without being absolutely invisible. the angels. have like consciousness. They and also also think. but still a man-body. He I gives expression to this^ " The older I grow. and they have all to become men again. it is The true. and else.

wealth of stint. showed plainly enough that he was awake to the question of the definite 462 . saw felt distinctive features clearly and that he the possibility of it. systematising his religious at first Having given forth his knowledge and thought without we may suppose that he had now beof the vastness of its come aware that he his output. October 1895. fate some state- ment regarding the essential to of the soul was a universal acceptance of the letter Vedanta. Once realise. unifying and condensing round a few leading ideas. that he would probability.NEED OF RITUAL ence. England in 1896. By the time his America was to period of work in on the eve of coming finished. started in all on this attempt. A written to an visit to English in during his first England. that it is experience. he seems to have felt first the necessity of teaching. friend. only an opinion based yet an upon unique opportunity of opinion.

463 . a visit from a couple of young men who belonged to a had "class philosophically religious. while under the mental stimulus of conversation with a distinguished electrician. in Hindu lore about death. by means of symbols and A mere loose system of philosophy ritual. making pregnant at the same time a brief but epitome of what he regards as significant. as one reads this Letter. The world in general must have some form. It is easy.ABOUT DEATH -area to this On be covered by a religious system." tion to the need of ritual." The to the still constructive imagination thus roused in was seen same two or three subsequent letters friend. takes no hold on mankind. In fact religion itself." he wrote. particular occasion. without the least called his atten- mystery-mongering. he attacks the whole problem of the relation between force and matter. in the ordinary sense. is simply philo- sophy concreted. and in one of these. "This. " has opened my eyes.

are the only theories modern science can entertain. cosmology will I am working I clearly see their perfect unison with modern will science." he writes. Heaven things : according to and Hell. and the elucidation of the one doctrine Eschatology means Christianity. " Our friend. 464 . of the Judgment.and see him next week. the Vedantic cosmology be placed on the surest of foundations. are produced from the cosmic mahat. I am to go. the universal mind. upon the and eschatology* of the Vedanta. In other words. or Iswara. He thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. according to him. to get this new mathematical demonstration. "In that case. a good deal now. Now both akasa and prana again. last the fate of the soul. the Brahma. which. Death.ABOUT DEATH to see how he congruity of ancient has been thrilled by the Indian thought with modern science. "was charmed to hear about the Vedantic prana and akasa and the kalpas.

Brahman = The Absolute. thence Lunar Sphere. that the Soul comes nor goes. says the he goes to Nirvana). The be explained from is That the Adwaitic standpoint only.VEDA NTA AND SCIENCE be followed by that of the other. "Now on the Adwaitic side it is held neither Brahmaloka. thence to the Electric Sphere. the dualist claims that the soul say. The first chapter questions will be on cosmology. to write a I intend work later on. Thence to he is accompanied by a purusha (Thence. and 465 . to the to after death passes on to the Solar Sphere. in the form of and answers. showing the harmony between Vedantic theories and modern science. Adwaitist. Mahator Iswara= Primal Creative Energy. I Prana Akasa = Force eschatology will it I and Matter.

and you can Beyond hardly matter. the is lowest or most condensed the Solar Sphere. or fine particles. That is to say. that say. but both are merged into the Mind-stuff. consisting of the visible universe. where there is neither Prana nor Akasa. which surrounds the Solar is This of moon at all. this is the Electric Sphere. almost inseparable from Akasa. Prana appears in it as psychic forces. Prana nor Akasa the/zzw contemplates the whole universe as Samashti. that all these of the spheres or layers universe are only so many varying products of akasa and prana. and akasa as sensible matter.ABOUT DEATH. or the sum- 466 . the primal And here there being neither energy. in which Prana appear as physical force. is but the to habitation the gods. that is to a condition in which the Prana is say. The not the next is called the Lunar Sphere. and Akasa as Tanmatras. tell whether is Electricity is force or Next the Brahmaloka. Sphere.

visions the jiva finds at last that Unity Adwaitism says that these are the which arise in succession before the/Ym. is the ocean. an abstract universal Soul. only see created his with his bondage. Now the universe. This appears as a Purtiska. yet not the Absolute. only one means going backward and the other coming out. neither goes nor comes. but that 467 . total of Mahat. So that the by name and form. is the end. who. vision has "Now his as each individual can that universe is own universe. The projection and dissolution must take place in (Shrishti) the same order. away with for although it remains others who constitute are in bondage. for still there is multiplicity. himself.THE THEORY OF DUALISM. or mind. is name and form A wave it is in the ocean a wave. and that in the same way this present been projected. and goes liberation. From which this. it name and-form-has immediately vanished forever. only in so far as If the bound wave subsides.

physiology. in But other relation is names and forms to- This name-and-form called Maya. as water. form. exist. on. can remain separate from can name and never zero. they be said is Yet they are not to This called " Maya. name-and-form cannot remain one moment the although eternally separated from the wave. returns to live water. They die as soon as ever other waves. wave was nothing but water all the yet as a wave it had the name and Again for this The time. it yet the name and form themselves were not the wave. into- without the wafer that was fashioned wave by them. form. on the relations between the 468 . and the water is Brahman. want I work all this out carefully. but you will see at a glance that I am on It will take more study in the right track. But because the name and form can never be to separated.ABOUT DEATH. wave. name and form the of a wave could never be.

and Cosmology.SYNTHESIS OF BELIEFS. shall The be standard of Sankaracharya to all not moved. See especially " The Cosmos : his lectures" The Absolute and Manifestation" . of writing a book in the form of questions and answers. " The Real and the " Apparent Man" . ising Once more in this Letter. chitta and buddhi. to fill out the psychology of mind. goes" truth. and soon. with scientific observation successive both are necesphases of consciousness. That remains the soul neither comes nor time the dominant But the labours of those who began their work at the opposite end shall not be either." elsewhere. mulation.* The Swami's plan. free from all hocus-pocus. was never carried out. as so often we see the reconciling and organforce of " the Swami's genius. higher and lower centres. But I have clear light now. of with his philosophic insight. wasted his The Adwaitin. the Macrocosm" . But in studying the lectures in London in the year 1896. to each other and to the new forsary. it is easy to see that his mind was still working on the ideas here announced." * he delivered 469 . and the Dualist. and his American lectures.

Death. on we have the made warm and made to apprehend fate of our own bethis loved dead. rule." on her father. To this the Swami was no exception. a certain letter which he wrote called woman whom he loss of to " that American Dhira Mata. however. is pre-eminently a matter which is best envisaged from without. Not even under personal bereavement can we see so clearly into the great truths of eternal destiny. its belief. and are the bearing. it many of all may be. conviction clear as the noonday when we seek it for others.ABOUT DEATH." he writes 470 fronv . the In very heart of his personal. as when depth of friendship and affection leads us to dramatise our sympathy for the sorrow of another. the occasion of the Steady Mother. will think the greatest his utterances on this subject. not lean The for comfort ourselves that we dared on becomes sun. and of us. "I had a premonition.

space is in the sou. the child of light. So Prakriti. unfolding veil after veil. changing. Coming and going is all pure The soul never comes nor goes. or Maya.A LETTER. Nature. and of the beds of pearl and coral at the bottom. The surface of the sea rises and sinks alternately. each sinking reveals more and more of the depth. delusion. to his bereaved friend. when all time is in tks sou/? all " The of the movement is earth moves. does not move.lt When shall be the time for entering and departing. in January "f your father's giving up the old and it is not my custom to write to body. and I know that you are unmoved. Brooklyn. monious maya strikes him. any one when a wave of would-be inhar1895. causing the illusion but the sun of the sun . the place to Where when is which it shall go. but to the observant soul. or moving. But these are the great turning-points in life. turning over leaf after leaf of this .

All souls that ever have been. are. space does not occur in the soul. drinks in knowledge. they are nevertheless. unmoved. They cells. with us. are in us. all were ours. separate. We are in them. and will be ours are always with us. There they are one. yet at are B. and to use a material simile are all standing at one Because the idea of geometrical point.ABOUT DEATH. is Each all an individual. grand while the witnessing soul book. yet by standing one of at the axis. This axis 472 . Take these Though each all. strive and however one may to escape from it. inseparably joined at A B. or shall be. that one the axis A None can escape from axis. are ours. unchanged. we may enter any the chambers. therefore that . are all in the present tense. and will be always were always with us.

in all. creating the illusion that the soul is moving. that eternal sky. 473 . through all eternity. The whole that and ended secret is. inspiration ?) whether high or low. across the face of the illusion that the "The cloud moves moon. in and all stars are set that infinite azure. is true intellectually also. matter. Religion began with the search after some of these is Lord. Thus we find at last that that instinct (or which men of every race. and is standing where he was. in finding them all in God. that your father has given up the old garment he was wearing. and ourselves in the same place. then. have had. of each and all. the reality. to feel the presence of the departed about them. all in we are one with Him. So moon is nature. " Each soul is a star. is all the Lord. body.ALL ONE IN GOD. moves on. There. the real individuality. and God. creating the moving. There stars had passed beyond our horizon. the the root.

be free. inI this or any other world ? sincerely pray that he may not. none may be pray the unseen power dragged anywhither by of his past actions.ABOUJ DEATH. own I pray that all may may know that they are let And if they are to dream again. Will he manifest another such garment. us pray that their dreams be all of peace bliss". free. that is to say. and 474 . I until he does so that in full consciousness.

to sink. seem the come lies across in sacred literature. and talking in watching hushed voices on high themes. walking on the sea. of man's occasional attainment of the mind- beyond our common exPeter. SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS. the shepherds become 475 . Seated their flocks in the fields. that we from his giddy stories Very like this. transfigured wake to behold their Master before them.XXV. the moment he remembers where he is. and already the great vision has died away. A few weary men. by night. sleeping on a world that mountain-side. begins perience. with a sudden height. HE who plank. But again they descend into the world. accession of is crosses a chasm on a narrow to liable at all any moment fall an abrupt his ordinary associations and sensations. and become an echoing memory alone.

to these.SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS. trans- cend thought itself. the angels have all faded out of a the sky ! Their hearers are driven to the of ing common-place expedient journey on foot into the neighbourvillage. and with them the exaltation of hour and place. it can make command so strict But the only thing a man's own. to see what great thing has to pass. and lo. is a selfthat he can. come In contrast the Indian ideal is that man whose lower mind is so perfectly under his own control that he can at any moment plunge into the thought-ocean. The moments pass. and remain there at will the man who can be . aware of the presence of angels. swept along. without the least possibility of a sudden break and unexpected return to the of the senses nearer. ! life Undoubtedly this power comes that with depth of education and intensity of experience. To him who 476 can so . at will. on irresistible currents of absorption.

the mind becomes an obedient servant. They speak as those having authority. there is no perfect. when he a skilled saw him recognised too. a fleet steed. There is a luminous- an assuredness. few must be the persons born to it. and the body. the height to which his thought-transcend" Tell me. Short of such power. in. the loyal subject of the mind.' cannot question that Sri Ramkrishna " a Brahmajnani recognised such a soul. We from his first " birth. in the lad Noren. . " answered the boy. ence had already mounted. and ' not as the scribes. old man 477 . which cannot be mistaken.CONDITIONS OF INSIGHT concentrate himself as to be able even to* suppress it when he will. like engineer measuring the force of a stream. ! How in any single generation ness. about the deeds and words of such. in its turn. do light you see a " when you the ? are going to sleep ? asked " Doesn't everyone eagerly. no unwavering self-control.

told. He all would be would become one with it. to one who was about him. it is all. towards for some hours. into forgotten. is slumber at At any rate. tell watch- ing his breathing. in the ordinary sense. by the men who were young with Vivekananda.SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS wonder. their Master. towards him. which he would enter. that would often the others he was only apparently resting. "Where is my 478 . One wonders whether sleep. he cried out. to have been sleeping when suddenly. casion. which a boy was kicking It would draw near. Noren had seemed. thus beginning. In later life. he would often mendigress. that when he would throw to us the light he saw. himself down to sleep. while Sri midnight. On one such oc- Ramakrishna lay ill in the house at Cossipur. to describe tion this question. and Sometimes it would come as a ball. and would explain to them what stage of meditation had now been reached. and Sometimes it was a blaze.

SAMADHI body?" His companion. and the boy continued in great trouble and alarm. within the brain. When all was in vain. by heavy massage. we may understand. and told him of his disciple's condition. to restore the consciousness that had been lost. Gopal Dada ran to the Master himself. told to reach that state!" Afterwards he him and others. as an awareness of light. Then. the moorings of 479 . now known as the old monk Gopal Dada. The Swami himself described the early stages of this experience. and his part would henceforth lie in work. ran to his aid. which was so intense that he took it for granted that someone had placed a bright lamp close to him. Saradananda. He has teased me enough. behind his head. to his gurubhai. below the head. and do him no harm to stay there for a while. He smiled when he It said ''Let him be! will heard. that for Noren the Nirvikalpa Samadhi was now over. later. and did all he could.

when. " \ he said. the reins. In order to concentrate the mind. or a great tised rider. touching musician. and he soared into those realms of which none speaks. I see that at the can do anything his lite. rejoiced to realise afresh. it is first of all and austerities undertaken. 480 . It is for this purpose that asceticism is practised. running his fingers over the keys. Through- out his a period of strict tapasya was a delight to the Swami. life. and being allowed to rinse he found that the muscles out the mouth. end of having undertaken to go through the hot season in Calcutta without swallowing water. it will necessary that we should be able to forget the body. be understood. in spite of the seeming fearlessness with which he Like a practook possession of the world. he loved to feel again the response of the body his own command I to the will. who was always constantly returning upon this.SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS sense-consciousness were cut. " of his instrument.

and difficult to conceive. . fixity of the gaze . seeming he scarcely heard. indeed. the long-sustained avoidance of food and sleep. of their own accord. food always seemed to another unnecessary. of caused him ! fragments. I have heard of an occasion when he as if sat. sleep.SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS of his throat closed. the only sign he the pain this discussion had not easy to realise the severity of the practices on which such a power of selfIt is control had been developed the number of hours spent in worship and meditation the . against the passage of a single drop. and he could not have drunk it. In his neighbourhood when he was keeping a fast-day. surrounded by persons who were quarrelling and disputing. if he would. was one time when allowing out of he had himself spent only twenty-five half-an -hour's 481 . to this last. Suddenly an empty tumbler in his hand was crushed into ever gave. there With regard days.

4 ' Yogi's eyes had told him. and to open wide. at the first ray of light. to take his early He appeared to be practising austerity. he awoke himself Sleep never ! afterwards. it would have been the most terrible asceticism. in the small Para Brahman. was a very insistent He had the or enduring guest with him. would hear the ' chant of the sort.' or something of hours of plunge. as in Devendra Nath Tagore his childhood. The difficulty with which he stopped the momen- would carry him into meditation. when he climbed into his house-boat on the Ganges. but his whole life was a concentration so never profound that to anyone else.' which are said never to shut completely. Yogi's eyes. ' In the west. in that tum 482 .RULE OF LIFE every twenty-four hours. as he went. the morning. And from this half-hour. had been seen by his American friends. those staying in the same house with him. probably. " " have you seen God ? to ask the Sir.

his lapses into the depths of thought.5 UPER. by which he could be recalled. from meditation. he was constantly. when he knew what had happened. one of his Indian hosts had said. he would give a private. before he becomes insensitive. losing him- 483 ." "it is " not ten minutes. Apart altogether. meditate. and never risked its repetition. On to meditate. Meditating in with one or two.CONSCIO USNESS the early days of his life. always. But he was deeply mortified. in that country of railroads and tramways and complicated When he sits down to engagement-lists. and one by one. word. one occasion. that it was he could not be brought back to consciousness. At first. caused him much embarassment. when people were per- haps waiting for him at the other end of a journey. teaching a New York class found at the end. however. with mosquitoes though his body may be black " This was the habit he ! had to control. his students stole quietly away.

to pay a call. without breaking his silence. and forgot to speak or if he was found in a room. as that word goes. Even and his criticism was felt merely as definition analysis. any more than his own Master's had been. his interests lay within. the house. gradual return. Toand range of his thought. H is friends knew these things. Thus the scale and not without. no one disturbed him rise sometimes though he would and render assistance to the . not always religious. . There was no limitation of sympathy anywhere. It was very often secular.THE DEPTHS OF THOUGHT self in thought. It 484 . It was talk was always of the impersonal. But it was always There was never in it anything mean vast. or warped or petty. his conHis versation was of course our only clue. intruder. still. for and provided them. in silence. If he walked into. In the midst of the chatter and fun of eyes arrow one would notice the and the breath come at longer and longer intervals the pause and then the society. .

who disciples. This largeness and sweetness of outlook. he exclaimed once. at Kaithal. for them " ! it safest to protect their own bhakti No sentiment of from his analysis. "to go into Lower Bengal. was firmly based on his reverence for his own "Mine is the devotion of the dog !" guru. where I feel that a soul needs me. near Umballa. he said of himself one day.CRITICISM had no bitterness or resentment in it. contempt remained even in the mind of the listener. "I don't want to know why! I am contented simply to follow!" and Sri Ramakrishna. " I can criticise even an avatar". had had a similar Tota Puri had left his own that great master. when work was done at Dakhineswar." He had gone back to his people again. and grave in the North-West is honoured 485 his his to . "without the slightest diminution of my love for him ! But I know and quite well that is most people are not so dislike or . feeling for in his turn. one day.

SUPER. still young. he was racked with anxiety on their behalf. ever after. said unto me customary way of referring to him. belief that for the evolution of supreme necessary first to evoke intense of emotion. The 486 . a reverence so great that he would not even utter his his name. But he whom he had initiated felt for him. Perfect love for the world and perfect faith in man are only possible. and then to hold this energy This points to a cycle in absolute restraint. it is of experience beyond the imagination of most of us. the was Naked One. But power of the body is to transcend the consciousness development like not the only condition of a our Master's. CONSCIO USNESS this day. Day after day. to that heart which has once seen its ideal realised. as the eldest son.. It is the Hindu force. gives us a glimpse of it. yet an incident in the life of the disciple He was Noren. " "Nangta. when a sudden death brought about a crisis in the fortunes of his family.

THE GREAT TEST sufferings of those who were dear to him tore his very heartstrings. who would have thought no cost too great. to have redeemed his word. believe fled to his unable longer to bear the anguish. of the Marwarri caste. was some time 487 . for Ramkrishna was surrounded by wealthy disciples. At he with last. in the extent of their disaster. in was nothing wild or extravagant the promise thus made . SHE WILL ASSUREDLY BESTOW. from ease and prosperity. AND WHATEVER YOU ASK HER FOR. soothed by the quietness and assurance of left his presence and went to It pray before the image. before the image of Mother. Master. and said. The boy. filled him He could hardly with perplexity. and pray. and overwhelmed him reproaches. The old man listened patiently. my lad. and the sudden reversal." Looked point Sri at even from the most ordinary there of view. "Go yonder. somewhat the direction. with a tender smile.

came back. three times he reply. again. and that could not even to remember the cause had brought him risen at times Have any in intensity of of us the height where self. "The highest bhakti Gnanam !" replied Noren. we lose the memory of ? prayer for the beloved 488 . disciple. he was But there was no change. else." said Sri Ramakrishna. "Oh yes !" answered "And what you ?" did you ask Mother and to give said the Master. and again he went. did you pray " ? asked his Sri Ramakrishna. say those who were some present. with the same Once before the Mother.CONSCIO USNESS before he returned.S UPER. he had all forgotten there. "Go briefly. and when he came. Well. he had a dazed look. Three times and sent. to ask for what he would . without further comment. and seemed to speak with " difficulty.

Maha-purushas. a circle of pheno- mena the .THOUGHT-CHARACTERISTICS If so. The Swami's thought ed. the Beatific Vision in itself ! must Ideals were the units of our Master's thought. the Adki Saktit And is the force spent in it to be reckoned as lost. but ideals so intensely living that one never thought of them as abstrac- made 489 . be redemption. till it has become. for it is the receiving objectively. unselfishness than the sharing of greater their mind-treasure by the great souls. Is soared. of a seed that cannot die. subjectively. surely there lastly. relativity from our common world of and difference. the To enter into their dream. as he talk- thought itself but one form of ex- pression of the inner Self. from the point ? of view of the thinker's own good First. thought can be no . then a circle of Supreme! If so. we have perhaps gained some measure of this of the infinitely greater remoteness experience.

according to their instinct for classification under two heads or three. were intertheir ideals. preted ethical by him through up-reaching. Is both might be said to be non-existent.SUPER-CONSCIOUSNESS tions. The Swami's tendency was always Recognising the twoextremes of a quality. or is it a distinction of the Hindu mind ? One never knew what he might see in a thing. he never failed to discriminate also that point of junction bet- to divide into three. being exactly balanced. here. that all and a hint there. where. easily or respond to a thought effectively more It and than to words. that one could gather the great words and thoughts^ 490 . from a touch pre-occupation. I their have sometimes thought that two different grades of mind are distinguishable. never quite knew what might appeal to him. Men and nations alike. He would often speak in answer to thought. was only gradually. ween them. this a universal characteristic of genius.

as a bodily presence. his a carriage one would hear him repeating an invocation One knew chant. Swarupananda he had been conscious of two hands. he told his disciple that for some months continuously. publicly given. saying Satchidananda or some other holy word." or 'Sivoham ' "Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used !' !' This hint. was all.CONSTANT DEVOTION were designed to serve. the meaning of before early-morning sending a worker out to the when. was the means by which he maintained his unbroken concentra491 . that he told us how he was always conscious of the form of the Mother. he to said. battle. holding hisown in their grasp. Again. It was not till the end of our summer in Kashmir. Going on a pilgrimage r one would catch him telling in his beads. Constant devotion. Seated with one's back to him over and over. then. visible amongst us. begin every day by walking about in his room for a couple of hours. in the last winter of his life.

arguing voice with each other. on the platform.CON SCIO USNESS was the secret of those was . in his own room. a voice. Concentration incessant flashes of revelation. till it would become 492 .always giving. Again the would seem to come from a long distance. which he into a conversation. tell Some measure of lecturing concentration was of his afforded by the stories he would experiences. At night. the things he had Sometimes there would be heard it tell. whence this was drawn. Then it might draw nearer and nearer. and brought up from it water of a sparkling coldness. It was the quality of as its his its thought. Like one who had plunged his cup into a deep well. speaking to him down a great avenue. was his entrance tion. quite as intensity.5 UPER. two voices. and the next day he would find himself repeating. he said. would begin to shout at him the words he was to say on the morrow. much beauty or that told of the it mountain-snows of spiritual vision.

was merely the automatic working of the mind. the aural may have had a slight He was. however. " a most faithful reporter of his own states of mind. 493 ." he would sayv "Whatever in the past has been meant by inspiration. he saw no miracle. aspreponderance over the visual.THE MIND THE GURU a shout. almost perfectly balanced as the two highest senses were in him.' also suggests that. It was probably an extreme form of the experience to which Hindus It refer." and he was never in the slightest danger of attributing these voices to any tive source. when that had become so saturated It with certain principles of thought. as to require no guidance in their application. but a subjec- Another experience of which I heard fromhim. one of his disciples once said of him.. as the 'mind becoming the guru. "Depend upon it. it must have been something like this!" In all this. suggesting the same automatic mentality.

was never forgotten. and the mounting 494 . while yet it -in would have seemed. his None at any time knew the moment when the work might be . by the brethren of his youth. His Master's prophecy that again he would eat mango. equally dark. in his eyes.CONSCIO US NESS perhaps in less developed form. that were really dictated by the higher wisdom of super-consciousness. when his work was done. things he saw a higher impulsion. was that when any impure thought before him. no one could The tell thing that was why. paralysing the mind ' blow.S UPER.ended. itself. Not ignorance was. to have been a mistake. struck as if from within upon ! to say 'no not this way! He was very quick to recognise in others those seemingly instinctive actions. of the Nirvikalpa Sainzdki. right. judged by ordinary such all standards. he was or image appeared immediately conscious of what he called 'a blow/ a shattering.

il said. As the end came nearer. you were. Swamiji now. Even those when the supreme was reached. Do he you know yet. half-laughing. the last year of his comrades were one -old days. he would refuse to remain in the body. was mentioned. elicited now only a far away concern." was the unexpected answer. awing them into earnestness and silence. At this. realisation 495 . things that had interested him most. During life. near and far. a group of his early day talking over the should realise and the prophecy that when Noren who and what he had already been. many One dreamt that Sri Ramkrishna had died in And the last hour. meditation and austerity took up more and more of life. and no who know one could venture at that time to question him further. one of them turned to " ?" him. some ray of its vast energy seemed 'to touch super-conscious of those who loved him.AN UNEXPECTED ANSWER realisation some may have suspected. "Yes.

found the soul face to face with an it. drawn irresistibly in that evening hour. amongst the closest friends of his boyhood. and woke in the gate. and fell ' prostrate before crying out ' Siva Guru ! 496 . dawn hear the messenger at his Another. infinite radiance. had a vision of his coming in " triumph and saying Soshi ! Soshi ! I have spat out the body " ! and still a third.S UPER-CONSCIO USNESS again that to night. to the place of meditation.

find was cut to hear to the quick. ! He hand. the Swami broke from the party of friends with whom he was travelling in Egypt. on the other the the people 4l of referred to constantly as natives. and the rest of the great sights in the neighbourhood of Cairo. says one of those this time." visit. to India. "He seemed so who were with him at As he looked upon the Pyramids and the Sphinx. THE PASSING OF THE SWAM! LATE off in the year 1900. it was in truth like one who knew himself to be turning the last pages in the book of exHistoric monuments no longer perience had the power to move him deeply. and went home tired !"' suddenly. country and to rather In this himself associated.XXVI. respect. in his with the foreigner than with them. indeed. it would seem that he had 497 .

'hoping to hear again the sound of the rains.PASSING OF THE SWAMI enjoyed his glimpse of Constantinople vastly more than Egypt. in East Bengal. and took a large party up the Brahmaputra. that to the oriental. he was so ill ' ! as to be confined to bed. for towards the end of his life he was never tired of talking about a certain old Turk who kept an eating-house insisted there. and all pilgrims guests. his health He spent the as summer of 1901 at Bellur. was failing at this time. to make How rapidly certain pilgrimages in Assam. untouched by modern secularity. to visit he paid a Dacca. us who were away. only those None of immediately around him knew. had any suspicion. In the winter that followed. one of whom came from India. So true it was. and had on giving entertain- ment without price to the party of stangers. all travellers were pilgrims. when And they fell in his boyhood the winter again set in. 498 .

of the holy places he had set out to visit. some few years later that he had said farewell to empire as it his in men's hearts. And it had been in Benares. He arrived at Bodh-Gaya on the ings. when he went.BODH-GA YA AND BENARES Yet he made one more journey. lasting through January and February 1902. first to Bodh-Gaya and next to It was a fit end to all his wanderBenares. as afterpitality of the wards at Benares. with the words. and nothing could have exceeded the courtesy and hosMahunt. was now the one. had also been the first. the confidence and affection of the orthodox world were brought to him in such measure and freedom that he himself stood amazed at the extent of Bodh-Gaya. morning of his last birthday. Here. last. I fall visit day when on society like a thunderbolt I shall " this place no more Till that ! " of his disciples from distant parts of the world gathered round the Swami on Many 499 .

" he said. them When that his ! by remaining always with men are once trained. Yet visits were paid. and farewells exchanged. all To to< monk. that he realised suddenly the value high the ideals of faithfulness in to religion of marriage. that it had needed voyages half round the world his return there to make. " " does a often. How ! man ruin his disciples. versation after his Strangely enough. was none. those that were about him a free hand. to Calcutta. it is essential without their leader leave them. who suspected how near the end had come. probably. striving above things 500 . in his first concoming home from Benares. in theme was the necessity of withdraworder to leave ing himself for a time.PASSING OF THE SWA MI Ill as he looked. for absence they cannot develop themselves It " was as the result of the last of those foreign contacts that had continued without intermission throughout his mature life.

with its effort and its attain- ment. was the holiness of the super-social rendered possible. The inviolability of and the inviolability of the . but still and arduously. not only in word and deed. outside marriage be truthfully held. to create the possibility of the life of Sannyas. the ideals are apt to appear as so much waste material. of "the play of Mother. or a great monastic order. The faithful householder was as essential to the faithful marriage the Sanathan Dharmma as monk. Suddenly the Swami saw a people to whom chastity was not precious. could never hope to produce a that faithful priesthood. This realisation was the crown of his It could not but mark the end philosophy. By the inviolability of Only where the sacredness of the social ideal." The whole of society was necessary. marriage was could the path that lay fully recognised. in thought of social life more earnestly itself.SOCIAL IDEALS 3>e true to his own vows.

to recover his and even undertook a course of treatment under which. no spiritual. yet no detail might be wilfully neglected. finer offering strength to hold. May. secular. the spring of 1902. How far this benefitted him physically. for It through each atom shone the whole. than religious ecstacy. Without noble citizenship. and June. the Swami made a great effort.PASSING OF THE SWAMI monastic vow. but he was overjoyed 502 to find the un- . without Thus all was one. there in surrender. throughout April. had insisted. swallow a drop of cold water. as he and his Master before him. was in fact his own old message in a new Integrity of character. Without the temporal. one does not know. were obverse and reverse of a single medal. he was not allowed to health. Without was no achievement For the sake of the work in that constantly opened before him. was a form. no sacerdotal. there could be no mighty apostolate.

" he said to one who And we who leave us. "but I cannot enter any more into these matters. seemed almost to pass him by as in a dream.FORE-KNO WLEDGE. am making ready for death. flawed strength of his own will. and I am making ready for death. on the Wednesday before he " A great tapasya and meditation has died. knew nevertheless that the words were true." in Kashmir. till did not at least dream that he would some three or four years had passed. "You maybe right. It was useless to ask him now for an opinion on the questions of the day. after an attack of 503 ill- . Even a word of anxiety as to the scarcity of the rains. in going through the ordeal. he knew " I well enough that the end was near. come upon me." he said quietly. was with him. When June closed. I am Once going down into death. " however. News of the world met but a far away rejoinder from him at this time.

he would refuse to remain a moment that longer in the body one had banished. that these words could never be forgotten. all saying. nor thought of the external. have neither fear.. and 504 .. nath. had he not said. in that Again. laughingly. I nor doubt. "for I another feet of in his hand have touched the God!" Personal revelation was so rare with him. on returning from the cave of Amarsame summer of 1898. from one's mind all anxiety on this score. had corresponded so* well with the prophecy of Sri Ramkrishna that when he should know who and what he was. "Whenever death approaches me.PASSING OF THE SWAMI ness I had seen him lift a couble of pebbles. that he had there received the grace of Amar Nath not to die till he himself should will to do so ? Now this. I weakness vanishes. simply I am asbusy myself making hard as that" and the stones struck one ready to die. seeming to promise that death would never take him by surprise.

that in his withdrawal from all weakness and attachment. For he us that again he has tasted his mango. ever been dearer to him than its life. when your work in finished.THE WORK even his own grave and significant words at the present time did not suffice to revive it. or realise in how many ways the How expected hint was given. the great Nirvikalpa Samadhi of and how. Did we not remember." said the tale." strange it seems now. Look You shall taste it once I lock it in my box. indeed. only to fall on ears that did not hear. to reach minds that could not understand I ! would seem." I And we may monk who told me the when the time is " wait for that. moreover. when it was over. "We shall know will tell near. looking back on that time. more. kept still power to move him. That which had there was one exception. "This is your mango. the story of his youth. It was on the last 505 . his Master had said.

the Ekadasi. ed the water over the hands. naturally But his answer was startling in its solemnity "Jesus washed the/^/ of His disciples !" Something checked the answer "But that was the last time !" as it rose to the lips. he himself pour- who ! you Swamiji protest Not should do these things for you. This 506 . "You know ! my weak come to point an end. plain rice. and himself keping the day being fast in all strictness. he insisted on serving the morning meal to the same disciple. and ice- culd milk and finally. for me !" was the offered. Each boiled seeds of the dish as it was offered On Wednesday jack-fruit. boiled potatoes. to end the meal. and dried them with a towel. and the words remained unuttered. "It is I formed the subject of playful chat.PASSING OF THE Sunday SWAMI before the end that he said to one of his disciples. I the WORK is always When think that might am all undone !" I of the same week.

books. before him. his garden. the last time had come. that one stood on infinite light. Finally he had taken a. For here also. He had spent hours of that day in formal meditation. 507 . There was nothing sad or grave about the Swami. July the 4th. Never had one felt so strongly as now. of which his bodily form seemed only as a shadow.THE PL A Y OF LIFE was well. over and beyond all this. the threshold of an least Yet none was prepared. touching only upon the animals that surrounded him. one was conscious the while of a luminous presence. on which he appeared so much stronger and all on that better than he had been for years. or symbol. to see the end so soon. and absent friends. experiments. Then he had given a long Sanskrit lesson. last of happy Friday. during these days. in spite of conversation deliberately kept as light aspossible. In the midst of anxiety about over-fatiguing him.

and sat down. on the earth. on the wings of that meditation. and the body left. Raff an hour went by. and he went to his own room.THE PASSING OF THE SWAMI walk from the monastery gates to the distant highroad. whence was . On his return from this walk. the bell was ringing for evensong. like a folded vesture. to meditate. The moment was come that had been foretold by his Master from the beginning. and then. Ganges. his spirit soared there could be no return. facing towards the It was the last time.

and the singing of coming the world's first Gloria. The Song the highest. of the Angels. Towards Christmas of the year 1902. read and picture the the angels. with their caves and carven rocks. in the old-time keep Ramakrishna. on one side of us rose the hills. and on earth peace. wherewith to of We * lost ourselves in the story. on the grass. 509 . while It to We were whispered the sleeping forest.XXVII. fashion of the order of of One the monks held a long crook. and we round a lighted log. and we had with us a copy of the Gospel of St.* Luke. however. Christmas Eve. and all around us was evening. a few of the Swami Vivekananda's disciples gathered at Khandagiri near Cuttack to keep the sat festival. good- Glory to ! God in will to men. THE END.

twenty-fourth chapter of We the turned to the Gospel. . and and finally the Resurrection. witness of one who count of an event. then the Death . The whole chapter sounded fragmentary. it had striven.THE END and the reading could not be stopped at Christmas Eve. whose credibility must stand or fall by the clearness and coherence of its various parts. it read now like the stammering had striven to put on record the impalpable and the intangible. not always suc- to put into words. as a spiritual perception. an acgasping. But the in tale sounded as never before. our ears. dated and attested. which one who experienced cessfully. read incident after incident. for us. was passed in review . but must needs drift on from The Great Life as a whole point to point. The narrative of the Resurrection was no longer. Instead of a legal document. to be accepted or rejecIt had taken its place for evermore ted. cumulative.

when we would . to return bless the disciples again. the writer himself. We were not merely with the longing of the disciples to see once more the master who had gone from them. to some extent. Tjut with the far deeper yearning of the Incarnation. but even. not the reader only. the clear and deliberate statement of our Master himself "Several times . while he talked with us by the way?" How moments of such exaltation had we many ourselves not known. to comfort and He had left. of For had we not had our own glimmerings a like back-coming to put beside it? One remembered and understood suddenly.THE RESURECTION-TALE like some longing attempt to convince. in the first weeks after the passing of the Master." face to face. in my life I have seen returning spirits and once in the week after the death of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa the form was luminous. "Did not our hearts burn within us.

a moment of sweetness. a word there. various times bring back beloved presence. here. It was the older record. or a flash of inner clearness and knowing ledge.. character of the story. shining through this on which our thoughts were palimpsest. whispering " The Lord is risen amongst themselves 512 . at any of these in had been sufficient. with the mingling of doubt and assurance in its poignant longing. that simple old record. to> the throbbing awareness of the We giri. those early weeks. would seem to have been added later by minds that believed in the hard and fast. with its gatherings of the Eleven. black and white. passed over. full of the fastened. that night at Khandathose features of the Resurrection tha t.THE END fain have believed that his actual presencehad been with us "He was knoivn unto them in the break! Only a touch of bread" Even so. pathos of sudden sights and vanishings.

entangled amidst the senses. could conceive. brief upliftings of prayer. to be pieced in the together in sequence. Even were matters to be ques- tioned.' and and more penetrative planes of action than we. and cherished tenderly heart. Amongst the closest and most authoritative of the apostles.A PRESENCE BEYOND indeed in the It DEATH a parting " ! with its tale. but of sudden will. to the finest. And 513 . body that was not of any re-appearances of the at all. to be discussed eagerly. from One who in the Vedic phrase. of midst of a benediction. half-heard. half-seen. there might well be some who doubted altogether. they The grosser they passed by altogether. Nor were they might be equally conscious perception so objective that all alike of these fleet- ing gleams. this older story had told. at the last. and unforeseen meetings of the returns of thought and love. had been 'resumed into His shining subtler moved now on Self. as it seemed to us reading.

somewhen. so we felt. trod the glimmering pathway of this fugitive So we believed. could not but feel that behind it. as a thing to be remembered. at a like time. as it . in all its elusiveness. a like revela- tion. of which death itself had not had power to rob us.THE END and yet. that we were glistened a thread of fact out the actual footsteps left by a tracing human soul somewhere. May God grant that this living presence of our Master. in the midst of the caves and forests of Khandagiri that night. to us his disciples. become never. its but remain with us always in -even unto the end ! actuality. experience. 514 . had made itself evident to us also. because. THE END. and through it. we who followed the Christian story of the Resurrection.

APPENDIX A. but when it becomes a tree. At first we think of a Personal God. I NOTES OF A LECTURE DELIVERED IN LONDON 1895. Here are some of the systems founded on Santlk. peaceful love. man to go through 'It is symbols and ceremonies in order to arrive at in India : the depths of realisation. Anthropomorphic conceptions follow. Just as it is necessary for a first. 1 6. thoughts as those of fatherhood and help (2) . a hedge would be a danger. The loving worshipper does not care what God is. So there is no need to criticise and con~ demn the old forms. and so forth. But when love comes. so we say good to be born in a church. but bad to die in one. forget that in religion there must be growth. and call Creator. Says an Indian saint "I am no beggar !" Neither does he fear. with such . love. Omniscient. Man should We Him not try to approach God : to come to God is all he has to do.' A sapling must be hedged about for protection. TO CHAPTER Nov. God is only love. God (i) is loved as a human being. because he wants nothing from Him. Omnipotent. common.


the ideal of service




master or



giving punishments and Vdtsalyam, God as mother or child. In India the mother never punishes. In each of these stages, the worshipper forms an


ideal of

God and



Then He becomes


There is also the feeling of equality and familiarity. There are some Hindus who worship God as friend and play-mate.
the Friend.


here no

Next comes


of husband and wife.

Madhuram, sweetest love, the love Of this S. Teresa and the

the Persians,

have been examples. Amongst God has been looked upon as the

amongst Hindus as the husband. We may queen Meera Bae, who preached Some carry this that the Divine Spouse was all. to such an extreme that to call God 'mighty or
recall the great


seems to them blasphemy.

The language





Some even

use that of


this cycle

belongs the story of

Krishna and the Gopi-girls. All this probably seems to you to entail great degeneration on the





have been developed by

Yet many great And no human

beyond abuse. Would you cook no?

thing because there are beggars

Would you



sess nothing because

there are thieves


loved, one kiss of



tasted, hath

"Oh Bemade

me mad


fruit o this idea is that one can no longer belong to any sect, or endure ceremonial. Religion in India culminates in freedom. But even this



be given up, and

all is

love, for love's

Last of all comes
the Self.

that tells



a Persian


to the door of his beloved,

how a and knocked.

She asked, "Who art thou?" and he replied " I am so and so, thy beloved !" and she answered only, "Go I know none such !" But when she had asked for
the fourth time, he said
loved, therefore



open thou to me


O my Beand the door

was opened.

A great

saint said, using the language of a girl,

Four eyes met.

There were

changes in two souls. whether he is a man, and

And now




woman, or he a woman
remember, two souls



a man.

This only


Love came, and there was

In the highest love, union is only of the spirit. All love of another kind is quickly evanescent.

Only the

spiritual lasts,


this grows.




the Ideal.

of the triangle.


This is the third angle has been cause, Creator,



regrets that her child

has nursed him for

The mother humpbacked, but when she a few days, she loves him and

thinks him most beautiful.


lover sees Helen's

brow of Egypt. We do not commonly realise what happens. The brow of Egypt is a suggestion the man sees Helen. His merely ideal is thrown upon the suggestion and covers it, as the oyster makes sand into a pearl. God is this
in a


through which

man may



Hence we come




This love

cannot be expressed. are dumb about it.

No words

can utter






become very much heightened in we must remember, is mixed up

with attributes.

It is dependent, too, on the other's Indian languages have words to describe this interdependence of love. The lowest love is sel-




consists in the pleasure of being loved.


say in India,



one gives the cheek the other kisses.' is mutual love. But this also ceases

mutually. True love




don't even

want to see the


or to

our feeling.

do anything to exenough to give. It is

almost impossible to love a human being like but it is possible so to love God.
In India, there


fighting in the street use the

no idea of blasphemy, name of God.



We say

your hand into the

and whether you

So to name the or not, you will be burnt. of God can bring nothing but good.

The notion of blasphemy comes from the Jews, who were impressed by the spectacle of Persian The ideas that God is judge and punishroyalty.
er are not in themselves bad, but they are low and Love vulgar. The three angles of the triangle are

begs not.
the ideal.

Love knows no
be able to




always of

"Who would


one second,


would be able to breathe one moment, >r the Loving one had not filled this universe ?


Most of us will find that we were born for serWe must leave the results to God. If failure comes, there need be no sorrow. The work was done only for God.
In women, the mother-nature


They worship God


the child.

much developThey ask
of these

nothing, and will do anything. The Catholic Church teaches

it is



and though

it is


in the highest sense. In


society, Protestant-



broad but shallow.

To judge


by what





bad as to question the value of a


only in order to conquer her. Renunciation means that none can serve God and Mammon.

discovery to a baby. Society must be outgrown. and become outlaws. oil


must crush law


Deepen your own power of thought and love. Bring your own lotus to blossom the bees will

come of






then in God.

A handful of strong men will We need a heart to feel a


and a strong arm to do the work Buddha gave himself for the animals. Make But it is God who yourself a fit agent to work.
to conceive


not you.

One man







matter has


energy of the Universe at its back. In a conflict between the heart and the brain follow your


Yesterday, competition was the law. is the law. To-morrow,





Let sages praise thee, or let the world Let fortune itself come, or let poverty
stare thee in the face.

and rags

Eat the herbs of


the forest one day, for food and the next, share a banquet of fifty courses. Looking neither to the


hand nor to the


follow thou on




23RD, 1895.




THE Swami

began by


anwer to

questions, the story of

how Pavhari Baba snatched
after the



and ran


at his feet

and say




knew not


Thou wast



Take them


are Thine

Pardon me, Thy

Again he told how the same




a cobra, and when, towards nightfall he recovered, he " said A messenger came to me from the Beloved."





derived from the


of thought.

The finer

the element, the

mort powerinfluences





people, even at a distance, because mind as well as many. The universe is a cobweb



are the spiders. The universe

equals the

phenomena of one



He, seen through our senses, Being. Universe. Jesus or Buddha sees the Universe as God. This is Maya. So the world
that is, the imperfect vision of the a semi-revelation, even as the sun in the morning is a red ball. Thus all evils and wickedillusion,



ness are but weakness, the









projected infinitely becomes search for God comes back to



body, the lower self; and Universe.

whole mystery, God. I am a I am the Lord of the

Why should a man be moral and pure ? Because this strengthens his will. Everything that strengthens the will, by revealing the real nature, is


Everything that does the reverse, is imstandard varies from country to
individual to individual.

country, and from


must recover from
to words, and so on.



of slavery to laws, have no freedom of the

now, but we shall have, when we are free, denunciation is this giving up of the world.

Ihrough the senses, anger

As long




comes, and sorrow not yet there, self and

ths passion

are different.



they become


and the man

is is

an animal at



instrument within

Become pos-

sessed with the feeling of renunciation. I once had a body, was born, struggled, and


awful hallucinations



think that

one was cramped

a body, weeping for salvaall

But does renunciation demand that we







to help the others ?








not a


for holiness



of the mind.





a desert,





saw a



in the

midst of a

beautiful landscape.




There were trees surrounding could be seen in the


upside down.

But the whole thing proved

to be a





had seen

that every day and only today,


had learnt


be unreal.



for a


should see



should never again take it to be real. reach God, the idea of the universe, the bocy
It will

But I So, when

.and so on, will vanish.

return, to


But next time we




be unreal.
the history of



of the



'Buddha and Jesus.


ed do most He slums.

for the world.

passionless and unattachPicture Jesus in the


brethren, are


.removes causes.

beyond the misery, "You, His work is calm. You are only able to work

my He

when you know for a fact The more unconsthat this work is all illusion. cious this work, the better, because the more superconscious. Our search is not for good or evil but
the good of the world,

happiness and good are nearer to truth than their man ran a thorn into his finger, and opposites.


with another thorn took



The second thorn



The first thorn is The Self is that

.Peace which

passeth beyond


and good.



melting down For one moment, he

man draws




is re-differentiated

world trembles.


a prophet. Before him, now, the fool sleeps, and wakes a fool.

man, unconscious and super-conscious, returns ^with infinite power, purity, and love the God-










Wisdom can be practised even on a battle-field. The Gita was preached so. There are three states
of mind


passive state

the active, the passive, and the serene. is characterised by slow vibra-






the serene



quick vibrations, and by most intense vibrations of


that the soul


in the chariot.

The body

the chariot; the outer senses are the

and the inner senses the



crosses the ocean of


He goes


reaches God.
of his



beyond. under the con-

senses, he

of this world.

When he

has controlled the senses, he has renounced.




weak and





Forgive when you could

being legions of angels to the victory. Krishna, the charioteer of Arjuna, hears it said, "The
general will forgive," and answers "You speak the words of wise men, but you are not a wise man, but a coward." As a lotus-leaf, living in the water

yet untouched by it, so should the soul be, in the This is a battle field, fight your way out. world.

This world



Make is a poor attempt to see God. a manifestation of will strengthened by



must learn to control

our brain-centres

happiness. AsceTo laugh is better than to ticism is fiendish. pray. Sing. Get rid of misery. Don't for heaven's sake infect others with it. Never think God sellsconsciously.



You can do anything. death few comes. or a nation. If for a moment you will seize are not God. wherever . The Second Step is Purity. There come. whom through curser. That faith calls out the divinity within. lege to you. If a man curse. The saints went to the mountain tops to enjoy nature. only when you do not strive As soon as sufficiently to manifest infinite power. is a divine within. Control the senses. The third is full training of out what is the mind. See that think God you alone true. whom you do good.Xlll a little happiness and a little unhappiness. poor to The history of the world is the history of a men who had faith in themselves. through His mercy. my weakThe ness I see as as tiger. great peace and joy will come to you. You fail. A handful of Greeks speak. as chair. are extending a priviHe allows you. loses faith in himself. is eason true from is what untrue. to worship Him thus. Sur- round yourself with flowers and pictures and incense. a man. As soon as you think / am He. great terror you. see in him God. that cannot either by church dogmas or be overby black- guardism.

civilisation It is What Deny thing night. the down-trodden. penitence. and the . ideas to yourself. my soul. my is brothers! ! You ! are the infinite Ocean of Purity Be God ? Manifest as the God ' ! feeling of the When you find time. Give back the divine cons! am He ciousness to all the poor. the oppressed. Some is mistakes there must always be. Death or birth I never had. I have neither pain nor pleasure. You never had a body. none destroyed. am It He. veil Mentally assert this. Do not think "What !" 'twere done better If done is done. Find yourself bodiless. That is all. I have neither anger nor hatred. Do not grieve. day and night. I everything that that is is not God. was all superstition. Assert every- God. All will Say. Oh that man had not been God. itself. am knowledge am He. end be made perfect. sick. and Bliss Absolute.. am neither I man nor angel. None in the will be left.XIV there is civilisation. humanity would by with its litames and this its time have become insane. day and So the grows thinner. I have no sex I nor limit. For I I am Knowledge I Absolute. and desire freedom. 'come up. repeat these divine within. Have great insight.

Apparently. which has most character at its back. and Love God. weak. all have to ritual. Wisdom-Yoga is is no- better than the others. is Never say man requires no object. and the Sikhs like . Mahomet . wave does this. does the body come into your . Calvin.Man. man is an animal. But this coming. think in sound and colour. animals. The lowest is perfect. Moses. and sweeps over society. a comes over the world. Love is the ideal. For you must know that religion is not in doctrines. All men are born idolators. Let the atheist and the we reach So God comes. Do not disturb the you faith of any. and the all these mean only the preaching of the Divine-in. country. Spiritualism. Luther. . Buddha r . Theosophy. Religion lies in being and beagnostic work for the social good. in doctrine and ' The test of having ceased to be an idolater is. The highest man And between these two. must guard.XV five hundred years or so. Little thought waves arise. city. and Pythagoras Christ. I am He f How can one work. 'When you say /'. the universe? Reason leads to the finding of unity in variety. in realisation. So even through devotion the subjective God. every this wave of : Confucius. in many directions but one swallows That up all the others. unless one loves.

If you think about God. or not ? If it does. no philosophy is necessary. . can reach beyond the philo- The sopher. Art is the most unselfish form of happiness in the world. by devotion.XVI thought. Thus the poor man sees gold. Religion not intellectual but realisation. Learn never to react. Be the witness. and identifies himself with the need of gold. idols. To know God. brings desire. you prayer and are only a fool. ignorant man. then is you are still a worshipper of jargon at all. Our duty is not to disturb the faith of others. In answer to * question : The artist is the wit- ness who testifies of the beautiful. Above all and in all. be Identification brings misery. because it sincere. Religion is experience.

However mistaken we may We . are all under Vedanta. NEW YORK SUNDAY AFTERNOONS . Yet is These various names mark only differences of degree in the expression of that One. different The They by it. TO CHAPTER XVL JUNE. but Freedom. essence is is Their final all interpreted the teaching of Unity.. We perceive matter. our struggle is really for Freedom. sensation. manifold there but one existence. These distinctions infinite which we so love are fact. NOTES OF LECTURES DKLIVERED AT THE VEDANTA SOCIETY.APPENDIX C. sectarian systems of India alt radiate from one central idea of Unity or Dualism. This. ment of Freedom. all expression. and only differ That one infinite in parts of one the degree of fact is the attain- all be. seek neither misery nor happiness. The worm of to-day is the God of to-morrow. This. the world. as to the method. THE UNITY. 1900. which we see as many. God.

When he realises Infinite alone "This flute. This vastness of his desire is really the sign of is man's infinite. can satisfy Himself. You cannot be satisfied. It longs to singing only one thing. do not let thyself sink ! go ! ! For thou And comes to art thyself thy greatest friend. True. man's thirst. says the Hindu. but at bottom what you seek is Freedom.XV111 one aim man. and its fulfilment infinite. One him. ? What joy. You Americans are always Man's looking for more pleasure. is he can only be when Not his desire is infinite. perceptions. and song. is the secret of the insatiable thirst of thirst. thou thyself thy greatest enemy. for more and more. more enjoyment. With Is all its sensations. then can satisfy man Not gold. says the Buddhist. unquenchable thirst. then alone comes Freedom. and that infinite is this. is a burning. Even the hand will that you through the darkness have to be . It is because he satisfied. Who can help the Infinite ? your own. Not beauty. own that infinitude. with the sense-organs as its key-holes. back to the wood whence it was cut " " Deliver thou thyself by thyself Ah.

and am the same eternal blue. dreaming finite dreams Oh the blessedness of it. Man. and who creates them ? We ourselves. therefore she does not.. am the witness. if this infinite Not one of us could see or speak.XIX Fear and desire are the two causes of all this. . unity were broken for a moment. Our ! lives are but a passing from dream to dream. of I all. ! I am the infinite blue sky. that nothing external can be eternal They little know what they mean. I see. the infinite dreamer. colours. the same eternal witness. Over me pass these I clouds of various vanish. whose hearts quake when they hear that nothing in this relative world can be eternal. therefore nature exists. do not see. I remain a moment..

miracle. and before we reach it. these. against first life. of ghosts. all desire for miracles. is it makes us dead ? differentiate. oh Freedom is the song of the soul. the We are all extraordinary. at bottom. Nature has no freedom. is only a a living being. The first act of our life is one of rebellion dissatisfaction. is above all is the cry of life.XX WHAT IS RELIGION ? all its A What locomotive. oh Freedom twinkling to its !' !' All worship. machine and a that little worm is powers. our desire has changed. moon. ^Freedom. The earth. Life. Then the whole singular there is this universal : We work for an object. with . highest growth. is. dismiss this as We remains. gods. are but machines. tremendfrom its ous as they are. I ignorance. She is all law. and nature's laws. 'No. 'Freedom. is worship. but the fact believe nothing to be vain or meaning- world asks The Jews were not for a sign. Science on her countless not yet watch-towers signals back to the asking soul. of The whole world expects a running after the curious. trees.' ! . less. and stars. Man is a born rebel against nature. between the living and the All over the world serpents. or an ideal. this thirst for Freedom.

No action. "He the Ruler of this Him the sun cannot illumine. but evil also. the Master of Nature. How then speak of this mortal fire ?" depends upon Himself alone. Freedom. He Not only all that we call good. yet it shows the conmuch a fact as the bondage Freedom must bring the mastery of nature. a false notion. if you did not believe yourself FREE to do or not to do ? This may be and ception. nor the stars. materialisation Religion thus becomes only a question of the or personification of the idea. no movement. The flash of the lightning cannot irradiate Him. but goes towards Him. Even a plant could not be. is .XXI This is why the idea of God is essential to the There must be the concept of some being or beings with Freedom. nor the moon. universe. and Freedom must go hand in hand. In us. without this notion of Embodied Freedom. Omniscience. All its dust and mire leaves little Him unstained. Which of you would come or go or eat. Not so in alone describes Him. no throb in the universe. itself. All movement is His Worship. every thing produces Him ! So SATCHITANANDA is change. and must be beyond nature. this is as Omnipotence. Mind. is what we call God.

. it one is sin. Only when this is broken. and all vanished ? Your own child comes to you masked." He who gave us is He is pouring out vial. Face ignorance. 'He whose shadow !' death. face nature. the direst death. there is no escape that way Once. differentiation. This is the door to differentiation. I was pursued by troops of monkeys. Face illusion. "I am the life. see God in all equally "Thou art the man. Never fly. whose shadow immortality We may But bury our heads in the sand. You remember story of the king who saw the vision of an enchanted palace. in the pride of his youth. ! A The of terror.XX11 from of His is the Lord. This is the hell. in (Benares. the sooner God. Real : I am the Unreal. Thou art the woman ! Thou art the youth. No The more looking up and down at each other ! moment less differentiation. when suddenly behind !" I heard the voice of an old call sannyasin me out "Stop! Always the face the brute So. or can we not. and I turned ! to flee. can we attain the Can we. I preach to you a God of virtue and of sin. but he spat upon the ground. and then It is the Lord world has been ever preaching the God of virtue. when ? pulverised to atoms. like the ostrich.

till he found that the fell on himself bird was all. rays of light from the plumage of the upper bird drew nearer. and looking up. But we may choose for ourselves the path that runs through heaven. the sinner. the We Ever-Present Self. till the glory. Two "tree. May it please the Lord to grant us soon this 'knowledge of ourselves as one with the universe. . and one below. some bitter. a reflection seen amongst the branches. ly. of love. evident. own selves ! This has to be This has to be realised. saw immersed in his own Then he drew nearer and nearer. had been only upper majestic. is The man who and misery. at the berries. of Let us come consciouspurity. calm. sat at last he ate one most bitter. the lower.XXlll And thou the old Thou man tottering on his crutches. the path of unselfishness. nearer to us than our felt. by seeing all beings as identified with ourselves. Let us be rid. and virtue. . and see Him. then. his fellow. want to move consciously. of all these limited ideas. thou the saint !" plumage above. the man who has chosen groping his way through sin for himself the path that runs through hell. will also reach. He. birds of golden One was pecking on the same The lower bird some sweet.

will be done on earth This last is a little or. "For Thine is the Kingdom and the power For ever and ever !" the glory ! . done tion !' "who says. traitors against our own selves. against the majesty of Mother. Be not 'I afraid ! Be not !' afraid !" Say all the scriptures of the world. long. commits a sin. Well said an Thy will be salva- is save only for a We all stand condemned as traitors. till the goal is reached "Giving up all these paths and struggles do I will take thee unto thou take refuge in Me ! the other shore.XXIV This the highest development of humility. Yet do not despond Awake Struggle on ! ! Arise ! and stop !" not. But we ! slip. O Lord thus killing Thy nothing. is and the way so hard ! to find ! So the sages have declared. : Either say the lower /. Indian philosopher. am 'I thou. twice. and we stretchout the hand all to the Mother It has been done. Thou art all. and distant. "Sharp as the blade of a razor. !' am easier." Manu says traitor. for all.

TAKEN BY Miss WALDO. as the ^alike. igoo. at every step. In India." all lives. Mother-Worship Power is the is first a distinct philosophy in It impinges of our ideas. the God of gods. Universal Power behind all. The Mother-idea was 'born. Confucius alone has expressed the one eternal idea of Ethics. . is the without. at the sum. in every religion. NOTES. In an old ' Manu Deva ' Veda of is found the that Mantram the " I am in the Empress everything. the battle between All that the two feel is makes human we know or but the resultant of these two forces. THE WORSHIP OF THE DIVINE MOTHER. And life. Power felt within. man arrives.God.APPENDIX FRAGMENTARY D. but the idea remained. From the tribal or clan. ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN JUNE. into was transformed Ahriman. Power itself. the mythological expression was suppressed. upon man. Man saw that the sun shines on the good and the evil Here was a new idea of God. soul . nature.

personality : with Sakti comes the idea of I One Universal Power. all to Of pre- feminine types. significant saying. in India. The mother everything. to Arjuna. ! mother. that asks not. or soul. when when we have become the witness of our own lives. But we this. stands by her child through Wife and children may desert a man. In our thought of God. Even misery can be enjoyed. cares not but his for the evil in her child. to nature. The goal can only be described as something And the worship of not yet attained. desires not.XXVI Activity. according to Sankhya. again. but loves is him the more." says Sakti. belongs Prakriti. world forget is all alike the play Here. there is no goal. for Vedanta does not care But in the Gita comes the for the God-idea. .. not to Purusha. when He desires to The Upanishads did not de- velope this thought. is there no selfishness. never Mother.. bow of Rudra. the mother is eminent. "I am the Real. because of the colourless love. The thinker of this philosophy has been struck by the idea that one power is behind all phenomena. This of Mother. all to-day Mother-Worship the highest classes amongst the Hindus. is the impartial energy of the Universe. stretch the kill. there " is human limitation.

XXV11 and evil. good and through evil is a composite fact. Mother Herself. and then we shall awake and know the Mother. the wicked self-sufficient mind will die. The saint hates the sinner^ and the sinner struggles against the saint. I bring good. See Her in Then alone will come Eternal that is all. The ethic built on such a concept is an ethic of brutality. Until misery will pursue resting in Mother are we safe. and I bring: Again the idea philosophy. crushed under repeated bows.. " Sameness". Later came the new This universe . the Bliss realise us*. good and bad alike. and makes us brutal. . unquestioning self-surrender to Mother alone can give us peace. slept. makes only a lame one-legged God." I am the Unreal. in the end. For finally. Love Her for Herself^ without fear or favour. of and one Power must be manifesting " A lame one-legged universe both." And this. Eternal. Yet even this leads onward. Her Only thus. when we then. Love Her because you are Her child. lands us in want of sympathy.


RAJA YOGA v KARMA YOGA BHAKTI YOGA GNANA YOGA s HARVARD ADDRESS COLOMBO TO ALMORA MY And MASTER other lectures and writings. the of Prabuddha Office. or through the Office the Brahmavadin. Triplicane. P.THE WORKS OF THE SWAMI VIVEKANANDA. Madras. Chunder Neogi's Lane. Bharata. U. via -of Lohaghat Post . . Almora. Calcutta. Bagh or through the Office Bazar. may be Gopal -ordered through the Udbodhan Office. Mayavati.

OTHER WORKS OF THE SISTER NIVEDITA. Prabuddha Bharata or Brahmavadin. THE WEB Messrs. Longmans Green All these office of the & Co. Cheap Edition for Circulation in India. OF INDIAN LIFE : Published . Heineman & Co. KALI THE MOTHER : Published by Messrs. Published by CRADLE TALES OF HINDUISM Longmans Green & Co. New : York. the y may be obtained through Udbodhan. DEATH : Published by Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein LOVE AND & Co. . & Sons. by London and Henry Holt Messrs.



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