Thursday, 10 August 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 29

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA'S WANDER-YEARS

...Later, when the station-master's duties were finished, and he was free to sit at the feet of the stranger in devotion, he found him singing a Bengali song to the refrain of: "My beloved must come to me with ashes on his moon face." The young devotee disappeared — to return divested of his official clothes and with ashes on his face. The train which took the Swami Vivekananda from Hathras, carried with it the ex-station-master, who later became the Swami Sadananda. In after years he often said that he did not follow Swami Vivekananda for religion, but followed "a devilish pair of eyes".

And now began for Sadananda the life of the wanderer. The hardships of the road might have made him miss the ease of his former life, but his travelling companion exercised such a spell that he forgot the body. The tender care of the guru made him forget how footsore he was. To the last day of his life, Sadananda could not speak of this time without emotion. "He carried my shoes on his head!" he cried.

They were blessed, never-to-be-forgotten days. Both were artistic, both were poets by nature, both were attractive in appearance. Artists raved about them.

Then he told of his life alone in the caves of the Himalayas trying to find the solution within. But he was not left in peace and undisturbed for long. The vicissitudes of life drove him forth once more to the deserts of Rajputana and the cities of Western India. During this time he had deliberately cut himself off from his brother-disciples, for he felt a great need to be alone. Once after long search, one of them saw him driving in a carriage somewhere in the Bombay Presidency. "His face shone," he reported, "like the face of a god. It was the face of a knower of Brahman." This witness describes how he came before his adored brother-disciple, but, although kindly received, was sent away again at once. .

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