Saturday, 1 July 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Josephine MacLeod : 12

[In an undated letter written from the Belur Math guest house, after Swamiji's passing, she thus describes the impress of his life on hers:]

...The thing that held me in Swamiji was his unlimitedness. I never could touch the bottom — or top — or sides. The amazing size of him!...Oh, such natures make one so free. It's the reaction on oneself that matters, really, isn't it? What one gets out of it.

You ask if I am utterly secure in my grasp on the ultimate. Yes, utterly. It seems to be part and parcel of me. It is the Truth I saw in Swamiji that has set me free! One's faults seem so insignificant, why remember them when one has the ocean of Truth to be our play-ground? It was to set me free that Swamiji came, that was as much a part of his mission as it was to give Renunciation to Nivedita or unity to Mrs. S—. But it is Renunciation that is India's great spiritual gift, and so the workers in and for India (Nivedita) used to say. "I only hear one word ringing through my ears day and night. Remember Renunciation." Hence her hold and grip on India and the coming generations. I haven't any Renunciation, but I've freedom. Freedom to see and help India to grow — that's my job and how I love it. To see this group of fiery idealists burning new paths and outlets from this jungle called Life ....

I feel that Swamiji is a Rock for us to stand upon. That was his function in my life, not worship, nor glory, but a steadiness under one's feet for experiments! At last I'm free. It's so curious to feel free, not needed any more in the West, but all my characteristics — in India.

...With two new upper chambers of the guest house I am living in great luxury and space, quiet on this great river. I never dreamed of such luxury anywhere! The luxury of space — no furniture to lake care of, no rugs, pictures, dishes — only a tea set. That impingement of things is gone! Things to do, to take care of, all melted into thin air. Yet I'm not alone! (That I couldn't bear.) One doesn't have lo leave the body to find Heaven.

I see — and why all this? That's the wonder.

"They are fooling us with little brains, but this time they won't find me napping. I've found a thing or two beyond brains, and that is love" as Swamiji wrote to Mrs. Leggett, bless them both.

(Vedanta and the West, November-December 1962).

from ... (Memoirs of  Josephine MacLeod)