I became once again vivacious and cheerful, thanks to the effect of his powerful will. He did not use any of the ordinary hypnotic or mesmeric influences. It was the strength of his character, the purity and intensity of his purpose, that carried conviction. It seemed to me, when I came to know him better that he lulled one's chaotic thoughts into a state of peaceful acquiescence, so that one could give complete and undivided attention to his words.
He often spoke in parables, answering our questions or making his points clear by means of a poetic analogy. One day we were discussing immortality and the survival of individual characteristics. He was expounding his belief in reincarnation, which was a fundamental part of his teaching.
"I cannot bear the idea!" I exclaimed. "I cling to my individuality, unimportant as it may be! I don't want to be absorbed into an eternal unity. The mere thought is terrible to me."
One day a drop of water fell into the vast ocean," the Swami answered. "When it found itself there, it began to weep and complain just as you are doing. The great ocean laughed at the drop of water, 'Why do you weep?' it asked. 'I do not understand. When you join me, you join all your brothers and sisters, the other drops of water of which I am made. You become the ocean itself. If you wish to leave me, you have only to rise up on a sunbeam into the clouds. From there you can descend again, a little drop of water, a blessing and a benediction to the thirsty earth.'"
With the Swami and some of his friends and followers I went upon a most remarkable trip, through Turkey. Egypt, and Greece. Our party included the Swami; Father Hyacinthe Loyson; his wife, a Bostonian; Miss MacLeod of Chicago, an ardent Swamist and charming, enthusiastic woman; and myself, the song bird of the troupe.
What a pilgrimage it was! Science, philosophy, and history ' had no secrets from the Swami. I listened with all my ears to the wise and learned discourse that went on around me. I did not attempt to join in their arguments, but I sang on all occasions, as is my custom. The Swami would discuss all sorts of questions with Father Loyson, who was a scholar and a theologian of repute. It was interesting to see that the Swami was able to give the exact text of a document, the date of a Church Council, when Father Loyson himself was not certain.
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
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This is the great fact: "Strength is LIFE; Weakness is Death."
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