Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Swami Vivekananda in Memories of Mrs. S.K. Blodgett - 2

In the early morning when you and your sister would be sleeping, he would come in for his morning plunge in the bath. Soon his deep, rich voice would be heard in the something resembling a solemn chant. Though Sanskrit [was] an unknown tongue to me, I yet caught the spirit of it all, and these early morning devotions are among my sweetest recollections of the great Hindu. In the homely old-fashioned kitchen you and I have seen Swamiji at his best. He could let his thoughts have untrammelled (s)way.

Do you remember how interesting and instructive one morning he was in one of his inspirational moods? Something in the paper, an abused wife or maltreated child, had aroused my ire, when I vehemently protested against the utter abomination of a system of laws which permitted the indiscriminate production of a mongrel race of children who through heredity and environment were prenatally doomed to be paupers, lunatics, and criminals to prey upon the better born. My plea was for the enactment of a law to save the wretched from themselves by preventing worthless characters — boozy fathers and fool mothers — from forcing upon the world a blasphemy against God and a shameful profanation of His "image and likeness" in [the] shape of half-born children. Swamiji replied by taking us back to the time when a man's choice of a wife was emphasized with a club, step by step down through the ages showing the gradual amelioration of the condition of women. The evolution of thought had been broadening and developing for them greater freedom and happiness. The central idea in this morning's talk was that all great reforms had been developed slowly; otherwise, the order and equilibrium of the universe would be disturbed and result in chaos. Of course, I cannot follow him in detail or give his words. I can only give his idea. A curious thing to me, while I lost not a word [n]or failed to grasp the point he would make, [I] have yet found it impossible to repeat but fragmentary utterances of his. I question if one could repeat him in his inspirations. At such moments, one gave oneself up to the joy of listening.

To be continued...(Memoirs of Mrs. S.K. Blodgett - from a letter to Josephine MacLeod)