Sunday, 17 September 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 66

SWAMI IN DETROIT — 1896

...Something of this power is lost in the written word, as those know well who were fortunate enough to hear Vivekananda speak. The spiritual force generated at such times was so great that some in the audience were lifted above the normal state of consciousness, so that it was possible to remember only the beginning of a lecture. After a certain point, there seemed to be a blank. The normal mind was no longer functioning: a higher state of consciousness, beyond reason and memory, had taken its place. Long after, perhaps, it would be found that during that period when the mind seemed blank, a specially deep impression had been made.

So popular was he as a lecturer that no place could be found which was large enough to hold all who wished to come. The man who had in vain tried to find a hall large enough to hold the audiences for the lectures during Vivekananda's second visit to Detroit said. "He could fill a circus tent!" After giving this course of lectures, he was invited by his friend Rabbi Grossman to speak at the Temple Beth-El on the last Sunday of his stay in Detroit. An hour before the time appointed, the Temple was filled to its utmost capacity and it became necessary to close the doors. Hundreds were turned away. Others, refusing to be shut out, hammered on the doors and tried by every means to gain admittance. Just as the lecture was about to begin the clamour became so great that it seemed as if the mob would storm the place. But when he appeared on the platform a hush fell over the audience. I heard a foreign voice near me gasp. "How beautiful he is!" And indeed never was beauty more ethereal. At this time the power was not so obvious. It had been transformed into a diviner radiance and a deeper compassion for the world which he was soon to leave. So India often pictures her gods — robes and turbans of concentrated sunlight, complexion of gold, a divine radiance lighting the face, an inner stillness as of a deep pool. He rose and poured forth majestic truths in a voice which completed a beautiful harmony of appearance, voice and message. Not a gesture was there to detract the mind from the intense concentration into which he had plunged his hearers..