Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 27

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA'S WANDER-YEARS

...Then the return to his father's kingdom; the excitement of the old king: the orders for the decorations to welcome the wanderer; the capital in gala attire. All is expectancy — the prince is coming! But it was a beggar who came, not a prince. Yet such a beggar! At the head of the monks he came. Watching from her terrace Yashodhara saw him. "Go, ask your father for your inheritance," she said to little Rahula at her side. "Who is my father?" asked the child. "See you not the lion coming along the road?" she announced in quick impatience. Then we see the child running towards that majestic figure and receiving his inheritance — the yellow cloth. Later, we see the same Rahula walking behind his father and saying to himself, "He is handsome, and I look like him. He is majestic and Hook like him." and so on until the Blessed One, having read his thought, turns and rebukes him; and Rahula, as a penance, does not go out to beg his food that day, but sits under a tree and meditates upon the instructions he has received. But that first day the king and the nobles of the Shakyas listened to the teaching of the Buddha and one by one entered the path. Yashodhara, too, found peace and blessedness. Scene after scene, day after day it went on. We re-lived the life of the Buddha from before his birth until the last hour at Kusinagara, when like the Mallas, we, too, wept — "The Blessed One".

Swamiji spent long months in Varanasi in the company of holy men and Pandits, questioning, studying, learning. Here one day, one of the best known and oldest of the sadhus, enraged at what he thought the presumption of a mere lad, all but cursed him, only to be met with the response, "I shall not return to Varanasi until I have shaken India with the thunder of my voice." And Varanasi knew him no more until 1902 when he had long made good his assertion.

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