Thursday, 4 May 2017

Swami Vivekananda in Memories of Mrs. S.K. Blodgett - 3

I heard very few of Swamiji's public lectures. My age and household duties gave me no choice but like Martha to sit in the house. To follow in detail our pleasant hours at that time would be like one['s] repeating a dream from which one awoke too soon. Were you present at a lecture when one of those ladies who love to make themselves conspicuous by some ill-timed remark asked: "Swami, who is it who support the monks in your country? There are so many of them, you know." Like a flash Swami replied; "The same who support the clergy in your country, madam. The women!" The audience laughed. Madam was for the time effaced and Swamiji proceeded with his lecture.

Another time I was at a lecture of his in the Masonic Temple in Chicago. A noted clergyman present said: "You believe in creeds, do you not, monk?" "Oh, yes," said Swami, "while you need them. You plant an acorn for a tree and build around it a little fence to keep away the pigs and goats. But when your acorn has grown to a tall, spreading tree, you do not need your little fence." He was never at a loss — always equal to the occasion. And now "after life's fitful fever he sleeps well", never to be awakened to the discords and tumults of this life, or to be reclothed with an earthly body (in my belief), since this is true that we shall see him no more. Let us hope that in some distant star, above a world of separation and pain, his gentle spirit may again lead and influence the spirits of men. India has sustained a great loss in her Americanized son, who while he sacrificed no essential feature of their faith, yet saw things undreamed of by them, to their betterment and happiness. Nivedita, what will she do without the inspiration of his presence?...'