Saturday, 15 July 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 12

THE DISCIPLES AT THOUSAND ISLAND PARK

.....Early in June three or four were gathered at Thousand Island Park with him and the teaching began without delay. He came on Saturday, July 6, 1895. Swami Vivekananda had planned to initiate several of those already there on Monday. "I don't know you well enough yet to feel sure that you are ready for initiation," he said on Sunday afternoon. Then he added rather shyly, "I have a power which I seldom use — the power of reading the mind. If you will permit me, I should like to read your mind, as I wish to initiate you with the others tomorrow." We assented joyfully. Evidently he was satisfied with the result of the reading, for the next day, together with several others, he gave us a mantra and made us his disciples. Afterwards, questioned as to what he saw while he was reading our minds he told us a little. He saw that we should be faithful and that we should make progress in our spiritual life. He described something of what he saw, without giving the interpretation of every picture. In one case, scene after scene passed before his mental vision which meant that there would be extensive travel apparently in Oriental countries. He described the very houses in which we should live, the people who should surround us, the influences that would affect our lives. We questioned him about this. He told us it could be acquired by anyone. The method was simple at least in the telling. First, think of space — vast, blue, extending everywhere. In time, as one meditates upon this space intently, pictures appear. These pictures must be interpreted. Sometimes one sees the pictures but does not know the interpretation. He saw that one of us would be indissolubly connected with India. Important as well as minor events were foretold for us nearly all of which have come to pass. In this reading the quality of the personality was revealed — the mettle, the capacity, the character. Having passed this test, there can be no self-depreciation, no lack of faith in one's self. Every momentary doubt is replaced by a serene assurance. Has the personality not received the stamp of approval from the one being in the world...?

Thousand Island Park, nine miles long and a mile or two in width, is the largest of the Thousand Islands. The steamers land at the village on the river. At that time the remainder of the island was practically a solitude. The house to which we were directed was a mile above the village. It was built upon a rock. Was that symbolic? It was two storeys high in the front and three behind. A dense forest surrounded it. Here we were secluded and yet within the reach of supplies. We could walk in all directions and meet no one. Sometimes Swamiji went out only with Landsberg. Sometimes he asked one or two of us to accompany him. Occasionally the whole party went out together. As we walked, he talked, seldom of controversial subjects. The solitude, the woods seemed to recall past experiences in Indian forests, and he told us of the inner experiences during the time he wandered there"

To be continued.... (Memoirs of  Sister Christine)