Thursday, 17 August 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 36


...It was given to us to see how he practised this in the little details of life. Not until long long afterwards did we understand how great was the sensitiveness and pride which made this practice for him particularly difficult. When asked why he did not defend himself against the machinations of a family of missionaries long connected with Calcutta, who threatened to "hound him out of Detroit", he said. "The dog barks at the elephant, is the elephant affected? What does the elephant care?" The one with whom he lived had a violent temper. "Why do you live with him?" some one asked, "Ah," he replied, "I bless him. He gives me the opportunity to practise self-control." What a revelation to us with the Western outlook demanding comfort at any cost! Thus daily, hourly, we saw the great ideals of the Gita put into practice in the actual experience of daily life. To see the Self in a foe as well as in a friend, in the one who blames as well as in the one who praises, to be unmoved by honour or dishonour, this was his constant sadhana.

Seldom has it fallen to the lot of one at his age, to achieve fame overnight, or rather in a few minutes, but this is what occurred to Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions. It was not merely fame, but the enthusiasm he inspired rose at times to frantic adulation. In the midst of the wildest popular emotion, he remained as calm as it he were alone in a cave of the Himalayas. This, for which other men pay by a lifetime of struggle, he put aside and referred to as the "filthy rags of name and fame".

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