Thursday, 14 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 63

KANHERI


...The road led first through a field of stubble and from that into a forest. This forest grew denser and darker the farther we penetrated into the interior. Behind trees, I could see the dark aboriginal people of the forest with bows and arrows peering at us. The road had become a mere cow-path and then even this track came to an end. Here my young bullock driver stopped. "From here you must go on alone." he startled me by saving, I don't know how, but it seemed that we were able lo make ourselves understood. So I answered. "But I can't go on alone. I don't know the way. You must come with me" He replied. "I can't leave my bullocks." I, being at that time ignorant of the tact that there were tigers in the forest which might devour his bullocks, suggested that he tie them to a tree and come with me. This he did after a little hesitation.

We went only a short distance and then came to a stream which at that season was almost dried up. On the other side was a small hill. Here we found carved stone steps leading lo the top. And what a view there was from the crest of the hill! The ocean on three sides, a forest leading down to the water, carved seats on which to rest, sculptured halls of magnificent proportions. Here it all was – the island with the ocean on three sides, a great sculptured Assembly Hall, the Chaitya Hall built in imitation of the one at Karli. the small cells, containing two stone beds each, pools of water between the cells, even the pipes to carry water! It was as if a dream had unexpectedly come true. The place was deserted, not even a caretaker. Coming upon this abandoned site, which answered in detail to the fairytale we had heard long before in America, I was profoundly affected. It was perhaps not strange then that I had a very vivid dream that night, in which it seemed that I was in the Durbar Hall with the great assembly of those who lived there in a time long past, I could see the gathering and the one who was instructing the assembled novitiates. I could even hear what was being said and recognized it as a teaching with which I was familiar, although it was different from the form to which I had been accustomed. The impression remained with me all through the next day and for many days to come. In fact, it proved to be indelible. But to my regret, I could not remember the words that were actually said.