In those early days we did not know the thoughts that were seething in Swamiji's mind, day and night. "The work! the work!" he cried. "How to begin the work in India! The way, the means!" The form it would take was evolved gradually. Certainly before he left America, the way, the means, and the method were clear in every detail. He knew then that the remedy was not money, not even education in the ordinary sense, but another kind of education. Let man remember his true nature, divinity. Let this become a living realization, and everything else will follow — power, strength, manhood. He will again become MAN. And this he proclaimed from Colombo to Almora.
First a large plot of land on the Ganga was to be acquired. On this was to be built a shrine for worship, and a monastery to give shelter to the gurubhais (brother-disciples) and as a centre for the training of younger men. They were to be taught meditation and all subjects relating to the religious life, including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, Sanskrit, and science. After some years of training, whenever the head of the monastery considered them sufficiently prepared, they were to go out, to form new centres, to preach the message, to nurse the sick, to succour the needy, to work in times of famine and flood, to give relief in any form that was needed. How much of what he thought out at this time has been carried out! To this India can bear testimony.
It seemed almost madness for a mendicant monk to plan such an extensive work. In later years we were to see it carried out in every detail..
To be continued.... (Reminiscences of Swami Vivekananda by Sister Christine)