Thursday, 22 June 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Josephine MacLeod : 3

In June of that year Swami went up to Camp Percy, Christine Lake. N. H., to be the guest of Mr. Leggett at his fishing camp. We also went. There my sister's engagement to Mr. Leggett was announced, and Swami was invited to go abroad and be the witness at the wedding. While he was at the Camp, Swami would go out under those beautiful white birch trees and meditate for hours. Without telling us anything about it he made two beautiful birch bark books, written in Sanskrit and English, which he gave to my sister and me.

Then when my sister and I went to Paris to buy her trousseau, Swami went to Thousand Island Park and for six weeks gave those wonderful talks called Inspired Talks, which to me are the most beautiful words that were written, because they were given to a group of intimate disciples. They were disciples, whereas I was never anything but a friend. But that quality that he gave them! Nothing I think revealed his heart as those days did.

He came over to Paris with Mr. Leggett in August. There, my sister and I stayed at the Holland House, and the Swami and Mr. Leggett stayed at a different hotel; but we saw them every day. At that time Mr. Leggett had a courier who always called Swami 'Mon Prince!' And Swami said to him. "But I am not a prince. I am a Hindu monk." The courier answered, "You may call yourself that, but I am used to dealing with Princes, and I know one when I see one." His dignity impressed everyone. Yet, when someone once said to him, "You are so dignified, Swami", he replied, "It isn't me, it's my walk."

On the ninth of September Mr. and Mrs. Leggett were married, and the next day Swami left for London to be the guest of Mr. E. T. Sturdy, who had already met some of the Ramakrishna monks in India and who was a Sanskrit scholar. After Swami had been there some time he wrote. "Come over and get up classes." But by the time we went over he was already lecturing. He lectured very eloquently at Princes' Hall, and the next day the papers were full of the news that a great Indian yogi had come to London. He was very honoured there. Until the fifteenth of December we stayed in London. Then Swami again came to America to continue his work here. In April of the following year he went back to London when he established classes and began a real definite work. That was in 1896. He worked there all summer until July when he went to Switzerland with the Seviers.

To be continued.... (Memoirs of  Josephine MacLeod)
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The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
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