While I was there that aunimn, I had a worriment that bothered me a good deal, and though I said nothing of it to anyone, it was constantly in my thoughts. Late one afternoon Swami asked me to take a little walk to see a threshing machine at work in a barnyard visible from the west windows of Ridgely. I had been staying in the village for a week, coming every day to the Manor House, and sharing in all its dear delights. All at once, as we went down the hill, he said, "Where were you last night? We missed you at the Ridgely party." I was perfectly amazed but managed to say I had not heard of it. "Wonderful affair," he continued, "stringed instruments and such a supper! Pheasants'" he added. "Ever taste pheasant?" "No," I faltered, "tell me who was there." "Oh everybody," he said, "and they danced and danced, not at the Casino but in the house, everything moved out. Wonderful party!" Why I had not been asked and what it all meant, how they could have managed not to speak of it to me before or after! Well, I gave it up, and did not learn until the next day that it was fable, told to change my line of thought and lift me out of the worry for a little while. And nothing could have been more convincing than his manner.
I can see him now, lying at full length on the green couch in the hall, sound asleep like a tired child. Once I tried to draw his features thus, in absolute repose; the lines of the mouth were so simple and lovely and yet so very difficult!
Once he asked me at the end of the drawing lessons, what he could do for me. And having heard that he was wonderful at reading the future, I begged him to do it for me. So he said he would when he felt "prophetic". A few days after he said, "Come!" and led the way to the library. We sat on the green divan, and asking me to open my hand flat, he laid his hand lightly upon it and turned his head away. He was absolutely silent and as nearly everyone had gone off to walk or read, I hoped for an uninterrupted reading. He took a deep breath or two and began to speak, "I see..." when the door burst open and Alberta in her riding habit descended upon us and broke the spell. He never took it up again and I left shortly after.
Another time there were several lady guests, two of them were accompanied by daughters. We were in the hall, after dinner, and he was draped in his flame-coloured silks. Oh, how splendid a figure, enthralling to the heart and imagination. As he sat by the fire, his eyes slowly turned from one to the other, heavy, dark, liquid eyes, like the "thick clustering bees" in the Eastern simile. All at once he began to speak on marriage, and from the first word the depth of his great meaning was apparent. He spoke as I have never heard a man speak to women. "Of the space that makes attraction felt" in that great bond; and while it seemed to cause some alarm at first to the two mothers, the dignity and nobility of his presentation soon enthralled them too. We shall none of us hear its like again. His views were those of a perfectly normal and natural being with a spiritual nature equal to the other. The words that he said were like a song, impossible to repeat, but of so clear a meaning that they were the very stuff of life itself. When he had finished he arose and amid perfect stillness took his departure; the ideal of a holy man.
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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