Monday, 15 July 2013

13 July : Swami Vivekananda in Lahore

वीरेश्वराय विद्महे विवेकानन्दाय धीमहि । तन्नो वीर: प्रचोदयात् ।

Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda :  Goswami Brij Lal
In November (1897) Swami Vivekananda visited Lahore along with his disciples. He was put up in the Haveli of Raja Dhyan Singh at Hira-mandi, where Jagadguru Shankaracharya also had been put up earlier. Goswamiji (Tirtha Ram) and his students had arranged for his lectures also in the same place. There was lot of open space there, even then it used to be so crowded that it was not possible to accommodate all the people. By sheer luck, Prof. Bose's Circus had come to Lahore then. As there was no alternative, Swamiji's lecture had to be arranged in the Circus pandal itself.

Goswamiji listened to his lectures with great interest and enthusiasm and inspired others also to listen to him. He became so intimate with Swami Vivekanandaji that he even brought him at his residence for dinner. . . His western disciples also dined there itself. After taking his meals, before parting, Swamiji looked into the personal library of Goswamiji and picked up a book, too.

It is in the blood of the Punjabies in general that they serve any guest or holy man to the best of their might and try to gift him the dearest of the things. Therefore Goswamiji offered him his most valuable belonging, a golden watch, but Swamiji, putting it back into Goswamiji's pocket said that he would use it from his person itself.

Although Swami Vivekananda was a famous Vedantin and a monk of very high order, he never gave up recitation of Chandi. He used to recite it with great fervour. I have seen him reciting it.

Lala Hukumat Rai was a devotee especially attached to Goswamiji. It was he who arranged the lectures according to instructions of Goswamiji. He also used to visit Swami Vivekananda along with Goswamiji.

It was the custom of Goswamiji that if any famous orator came to Lahore, he used to call Bhaktaji (Hukumat Raiji) and Pundit Laddha Mal Muraliwala. Thus Pundit Laddha Malji was sent for. . . But he came on the day when the very next day Swamiji was to depart for Calcutta. That day Goswamiji was going to meet Swamiji. Meanwhile Laddha Malji also came and along with him he went to Swamiji. In the night they had exchange of ideas. Swami Vivekanandaji was extremely pleased to see the competence of Punditji and said that if he goes to Calcutta along with him, he will arrange for Rs. 200/- monthly salary for him. But the Punditji did not agree. At last, offering one pound sterling (guinea) and a silken turban to Punditji, Swamiji said that in the villages one comes across such competent persons like Punditji even now. . . Thus came to an end Swamiji's eventful Lahore journey.

The author, Goswami Brij Lal, a nephew of Goswami Tirtha Ram (later Swami Rama Tirtha), was also staying there with him. He later wrote a biography of his uncle (Swami Ramatirtha) in Urdu (published from Lahore, 1912. At the time Goswami Tirtha Ram was a mathematics professor in a college there in Lahore, and later inspired by Vivekananda became a monk. Above is an excerpt on Swamiji from that book (pp. 115-118).
13 July 1895 - Inspired Talks
The idea of duty is the midday sun of misery scorching the very soul. "O king, drink this one drop of nectar and be happy." ("I am not the doer", this is the nectar.)

Let there be action without reaction; action is pleasant, all misery is reaction. The child puts its hand in the flame, that is pleasure; but when its system reacts, then comes the pain of burning. When we can stop that reaction, then we have nothing to fear. Control the brain and do not let it read the record; be the witness and do not react, only thus can you be happy. The happiest moments we ever know are when we entirely forget ourselves. Work of your own free will, not from duty. We have no duty. This world is just a gymnasium in which we play; our life is an eternal holiday.

13 July 1897 - Letter to Swami Brahmananda
I was very pleased to get all the news from the Math, and I also heard that the famine relief work is going on well. Please let me know if any money has been received from the office of the Brahmavadin for famine relief. Some money will be sent soon from here also. There is famine in many other places as well, so it is not necessary to stay so long in one place. Tell them to move to other localities and write to each man to go to a separate place. All such work is real work. If the field is made ready in this way, the seeds of spiritual knowledge can be sown. Remember this always — that the only answer to those conservative fanatics who abuse us is such work. I have no objection to getting the thing printed as Shashi and Sarada have suggested.

A work can be judged by its results only, just as one can infer the nature of previous mental tendencies by their resultant in present behaviour. . . .